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The Los Angeles Rams caught a massive break late that helped them win Sunday’s NFC championship game when officials neglected to flag an obvious penalty that would have given the New Orleans Saints a chance to all but ice the game.
On 3rd-and-10 at the Rams 13-yard-line with 1:47 remaining, Saints quarterback Drew Brees looked to Tommylee Lewis down the sideline.
Robey-Coleman runs through Lewis before ball arrives
Before he had a chance to make a play on the ball, Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman absolutely leveled him. Leading with his helmet, Robey-Coleman ran through Lewis, sending him crashing to the ground while the ball was still in the air.
It was obvious pass interference in addition to being an illegal helmet-to-helmet hit. But there was no flag thrown for either violation. The Saints ended up kicking a field goal to take a 23-20 lead with 1:45 remaining.
Penalty would have set Saints up in prime position
Had pass interference been called, New Orleans would have been set up with first-and-goal around the six yard-line with 1:45 remaining and the Rams holding one timeout. They could have run down the bulk of the clock and kicked a field goal or taken a shot at a touchdown.
But instead, they were forced to settle for three points and leave enough time on the clock for the Rams to respond with a 48-yard field goal from Greg Zuerlein to force overtime.
Rams win in overtime
The Rams went on to win in the extra session when Zuerlein hit a 57-yard field goal to send the Rams to the Super Bowl.
Payton said that the NFL confirmed to him that it was a blown call after the game, according to WWLTV.
“I don’t know if there was ever more obvious pass interference,” Payton said.
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