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Refs’ missed pass interference call in Rams-Saints roundly criticized

January 21, 2019

It’s a no-call that will never be forgotten in New Orleans.

Los Angeles Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman was not penalized for a blatant pass interference in the NFC Championship Game, which forced the New Orleans Saints to settle for a field goal late in regulation.

The Rams were able to force overtime, win the game on a field goal and advance to Super Bowl LIII.

Had a penalty been called on this playpass interference, helmet-to-helmet contact or hitting a defenseless receiver all would have been optionsthe Saints would have been awarded a new set of downs with a minute or so left, and barring a disaster, they would have run the clock out and won the game either by touchdown or field goal.

NFL fans could not believe that this wasnt called pass interference 😳😳😳https://t.co/LoZ9fizn5jpic.twitter.com/fpRWNtD7YX For The Win (@ForTheWin) January 20, 2019

Saints coach Sean Payton said in his post-game press conference that the league office told him over the phone the officiating crew blew the call and it was “hard to swallow.”

“Just getting off the phone with the league office ... they blew the call.“Sean Payton expressed his frustration at the missed pass interference called in his postgame presser. pic.twitter.com/S9RcBV3heP ESPN (@espn) January 21, 2019

On the other hand, the Saints received the ball first in overtime and had the first chance to score and win the game.

Nonetheless, NFL analysts on Twitter were incredulous, and rightfully so:

Officials missed a call that could have been pass interference, helmet to helmet, unnecessary roughness, face guarding, any of them. Instead it was none of them.The game, and legacies, were changed. Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 20, 2019

ref’s gonna leave the super dome like pic.twitter.com/CgQOrXbvW3 Mina Kimes (@minakimes) January 20, 2019

Worst no-call in NFL history. https://t.co/ieAIKWHUbX Don Van Natta Jr. (@DVNJr) January 20, 2019

Current players were upset, too, including Houston Texans start J.J. Watt. Not long after the play, an exasperated Watt tweeted that officials should have to answer for missed calls:

There needs to be some form of accountability. NEEDS to be. JJ Watt (@JJWatt) January 20, 2019

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