It’s difficult to pinpoint the outcome of an entire game on a single call, but the blown uncalled pass interference in Sunday’s NFC Championship absolutely kept the Rams’ Super Bowl hopes alive.
With the Saints driving deep into Rams territory, a third-down pass to Tommylee Lewis fell incomplete because, well, the Rams’ Nickell Robey-Coleman destroyed Lewis before the ball arrived. It should have been a textbook pass interference and possibly a personal foul. Yet, no flag was thrown on the play.
Saints coach Sean Payton was furious and justifiably so.
The uncalled penalty forced the Saints to attempt a go-ahead field goal with time remaining on the clock. The Rams got the ball back, forced overtime and won in overtime. Had that penalty been called, the Saints would have been able to run out the clock and take the game-winning attempt in regulation. It decided the game.
So, Payton didn’t hold back when it came time to discuss the massive blown no-call.
Payton said the refs admitted they missed the call:
“It was simple, they blew the call. They said, ‘There never should not have been a call.’ They said not only was it interference, it was helmet-to-helmet. They couldn’t believe it.”
In that situation, you’d want to see the officials convene and make the correct call. Someone on the field had to see the penalty — it was that obvious.
Admitting the mistake won’t make Saints fans feel any better. The Rams are off the to the Super Bowl because of it.
“It was simple, they blew the call.”