The Saints were in full control of their NFC Championship game against the Rams for the better part of the first half, but a late drive by Jared Goff and the Rams made it a three-point game at the break.
For most of the second half it was a one possession game, as the two teams traded scores until it was 20-20 after a somewhat surprising decision from the Rams to kick a field goal on 4th-and-goal inside the one yard line with just over five minutes to play. The Saints proceeded to march down the field and were inside the 20 with two minutes to play after a miraculous catch from Ted Ginn.
An incompletion and a loss of one later, the Saints faced 3rd-and-11 and were forced to throw to keep their hopes of a touchdown on the drive alive. Drew Brees lobbed one up to Tommylee Lewis on a wheel route down the sideline when Nickell Robey-Coleman blew him up to force an incompletion.
There was just one problem, Robey-Coleman arrived way early but somehow there was no flag.
A pass interference call there, which was very much warranted, would’ve come close to ending the game. With just one timeout left, the Rams would’ve been forced to burn it on the next run play from the Saints and they could’ve wound the clock inside 30 seconds if they wanted to kick a field goal. At the least, they would’ve been set up for a great opportunity for a touchdown.
Instead, the Saints kicked the field goal and the Rams had ample time to march down the field for a field goal of their own to answer and force overtime. In overtime, Drew Brees threw an interception as he got hit releasing the football and Greg Zuerlein banged home a 57-yard field goal to give the Rams the win.
Afterwards, unsurprisingly, there was plenty of discussion about the missed call which Sean Payton said the league admitted to him they blew on multiple fronts.
Robey-Coleman also admitted he was just trying to prevent the touchdown, acknowledging he was beat and got there way early.
That won’t do much to make Saints fans feel any better, and it will undoubtedly be a talking point for some time in New Orleans.