By: Nick Pooler
The New Orleans Saints were yards away from punching the ball into the RedZone to what would have surely clinched their spot in the next round. Drew Brees lined up a ball towards the right front corner of the endzone targeting WR TommyLee Lewis when Rams CB Nickell Robey-Coleman absolutely lit him up before the ball could even get to him. There was no call on the play and the Saints were foreced into a field goal position where they took a 3 point lead. This eventually led to the Rams tying the game with 15 seconds left and later winning it in overtime.
This no-call lit up the sports world. Hundreds and thousands of fans from around the world were tweeting out and complaining about just how brutal this no-call was. Just a year ago, the Saints were stunned with the Minnesota Miracle when Stefon Diggs caught a ball over the Saints CB which led to a walk-off touchdown as time expired. Now this year their luck does not go any further.
Sean Payton was absolutely livid on the sideline and rightfully so. In no way should the refs miss a call like that to determine how the game may end up. If that is called, Saints have first and goal where they can run the clock even further and only be about 5 yards out from scoring with 4 plays.
Somebody needs to be held accountable for this whether it be this referee crew being suspended or even go as far as losing their jobs. There is no excuse for this kind of mess up especially with an industry that brings in so much revenue.
On the game side, the Rams were mostly without Todd Gurley who only received 4 carries for 10 yards and a touchdown from 6 yards out. CJ Anderson had 16 carries for 44 yards and Brandin Cooks was the leading receiver with 7 catches for 107 yards. Jared Goff threw for 297 yards and a touchdown. John Johnson made the huge interception for the Rams in OT after Dante Fowler pressured Brees to release the ball quicker than anticipated.
The Saints were led in a losing effort by Brees who was 26-40 with 249 yards and 2 TD’s including one to 3rd string QB/Utility player Taysom Hill. Alvin Kamara had 11 catches for 96 yards. DeMario Davis had 14 tackles and an interception for New Orleans.
The Rams also had a very strong performance from kicker Greg Zuerlein who nailed all of his kicks (36, 24, 48 and 57). The 57-yard field goal was the game winner in OT which could have been made from even further away with how much he put on it.
The Rams now await the winner of Patriots/Chiefs for the SuperBowl. As of now, the Patriots are up 7-0 with 6:55 to go in the 2nd quarter. As stated earlier, the Saints got robbed and they should not let the NFL live this one down.