The Saints season may have gone into overtime during the championship game against the Rams on Sunday, but many are arguing that it ended the moment Nickell Robey-Coleman sailed into Tommylee Lewis with a few minutes to go in the fourth quarter.
Per Sports Illustrated, the tackle came a full second before the ball was anywhere near the receiver’s capability of catching it. Following the game, Lewis said to reporters, “There’s not too much more to say about the play. Obviously it was interference.”
Still the refs chose not to throw a penalty flag, and soon after the Rams secured a field goal, send the game to over time, and secured another field goal to win the game.
As for Robey-Coleman, he sided with Lewis after watching a replay of the game footage. To reporters, via USA Today, Robey-Coleman laughed and said, “Hell yeah that was PI.”
He added, “I did my part. Referee made the call. We respect it.”
Later on in the press conference, though, Robey-Coleman gave himself some credit for noticing Lewis to begin with. He said, “Nobody saw him but me.”
Do you think the Rams should have been called for a pass interference in that play?
You can watch the video below again, for a refresher on the play:
Here’s what each of the head coaches had to say about such a controversial missed call:
Payton Said the Saints Will “Probably Never Get Over’ the Call; McVay Didn’t Think It Was a Missed Call
As one might expect, Saints head coach Sean Payton was far more upset about the missed call than Rams head coach Sean McVay.
To reporters following the game, McVay said, “I thought it was a bang-bang type play. The one thing I respect about the refs today is that they let the guys compete and they let the guys play. I thought Nickell Robey made a nice play.”
Mcvay went on, “They snapped it on a quick snap, had a little wheel route coming out of the backfield. Thought it was a competitive type play. Certainly I’m not going to complain about the way that was officiated. I thought that it was a competitive play.”
Per ESPN, Payton said, “For a call like that not to be made, man, it’s just hard to swallow. And then to get a phone call … We spoke initially, then I called to follow up. And the first thing [head of officials Alberto Riveron] said when I got on the phone — ‘We messed it up.’
Payton continued, “Listen, it’s a hard job for those guys ’cause it’s happening fast. But I don’t know if there was ever a more obvious pass interference call that — here it is, the NFC Championship Game. So, it’s a tough one to swallow.”