Robbing Saints?

In most cases we would call this a cardinal sin, but for the NFL they seem to enjoy robbing franchises through poor officiating. Now that things have calmed down a bit, it is a perfect time to investigate what happened in the NFC Championship Game. And yes, the Saints would have made for a better Superbowl than the Rams. Not hard when you didn’t even have one snap in the RedZone.

Before we begin – I will be the first to admit that any controversy such as this should have been avoided by not letting the game come down to this point. For example, the Saints only getting six points on what should have been two touchdowns on their first two drives definitely doesn’t help. However, this missed pass interference call is much different than any other randomly missed call in the middle of the game. Yes, there were missed calls for both teams during the game, but those kinds of calls are hypothetical and can never truly predict the outcome of a game.

To start us off I will breakdown Steelers’ Jessie James’s end of the game catch against the New England Patriots in 2017-2018 regular season. We all know James caught the ball and it was either a touchdown or down at the one-yard line due to his knee. James was only making a football play, but unlike most missed calls we knew exactly what the outcome was going to be – a touchdown and game over or one last play on the half yard line where we know big ole Ben would do his thing. Despite what clearly was a catch – it was ruled incomplete and led to a Patriots victory as well as the number one seed in the AFC. After the game Steeler fans were ready to riot, yet everyone gives Saints fans a hard time for going out and partying in protest to the Super Bowl. Moreover – just to throw it in there – let’s not forget the Dez Bryant catch a few years back – another clear game changing moment because it was a touchdown – and as always Cowboy fans were up in arms.

Now to the big moment – breaking down the controversial no pass interference penalty. As we all know, Robey-Coleman put a demolishing hit on Tommy Lee Lewis – only problem is it was no where near clean or legal. In fact, it was such a dirty play that the NFL came back and fined him for targeting and helmet to helmet. Which if we wanted to make this situation even more ridiculous you now have two other penalties that were missed. Despite those two other missed calls, lets focus on the missed pass interference call. If Robey-Coleman misses that hit – Lewis walks in for a touchdown and the game is virtually over with slightly over a minute to go. The other scenario is why this such as big deal. Let’s say the pass interference is called or Lewis makes that catch – the Saints are now three knees and a field goal away from heading to the Super Bowl. Very few missed calls can literally change the game in the sense of you knew exactly what the next few plays were as well as the outcome.  Having said that, this rules out any sort of hypothetical situation of other missed calls due to the lack of concrete evidence to prove one team would have won with that call.  

Of course, you could say the Saints could have missed the field goal, but a kicker less than 20 yards out has a 99.9% of making it. Just remember three knees and a field goal and we are looking at potentially a whole different Super Bowl outcome………. Once again, the NFL has a unique offseason rule controversy and thanks to the pitiful performance by the Rams – we have another New England championship. Please be sure to thank those Southern California refs who somehow got approved to ref a game where their team was playing. In the words of Tom Tom Brady – if aint cheating you aint trying.

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