01/20/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 01/20/2019 17:55
Following a deep bomb from Drew Brees to Ted Ginn Jr. placed the Saints in field-goal range at the 2-minute warning, two bungled plays set up a third-and-10 in a 20-20 tilt with the Rams holding one final timeout.
Brees targeted an open Tommylee Lewis on the sideline for a potential first down. Rams corner Nickell Robey-Coleman smashed the Saints receiver prior to the ball arriving. However, the refs kept the flags in their pockets. No call.
An upset Superdome crowd went nuts.
'Just getting off the phone with the league office. They blew the call,' Saints coach Sean Payton said after the game. 'I don't know if there was ever a more obvious pass interference call.'
After the game in an interview with FOX's Erin Andrews, Payton, who is on the NFL Competition Committee, called for more replay in those instances.
'Look, it's a tough way to lose a game, especially when you're in a position like that to win it,' Payton said. 'All more reason we need more replay. We lose a chance to go to the Super Bowl with a call like that, it's just disappointing. But credit to the Rams, they did a good job and made the plays in the end when they needed to.'
The Saints would kick the go-ahead field goal, but the non-call on what appeared to be a blatant penalty wiped out a chance for New Orleans to drain the clock. Instead, Los Angeles got the ball with 1:41 left and a timeout allowing the Rams to drive for a game-tying field-goal sending the tilt into overtime.
After seeing last season's playoff run end on the Minneapolis Miracle, the Saints once again saw their hearts ripped out once again. At least last year, the loss came on a physical error by a player. This time, New Orleans is left to wonder what might have been had a ref tossed his little yellow hanky onto the field in a crucial situation.