Every fan in the stands saw it. Every player on the field probably saw it. Every person watching the game on television saw it. League officials saw it.
And yet, the refs didn’t see it.
At a pivotal juncture of the NFC championship between the New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams, the refs swallowed their whistles when Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman hammered Saints receiver Tommylee Lewis just yards from the end zone as Lewis was trying to catch a pass from Drew Brees.
If it wasn’t pass interference, the helmet-to-helmet hit almost certainly should have been called a personal foul. Either way, the Saints should have received a 15-year penalty and a fresh set of downs with 1:45 remaining, which almost certainly would have effectively ended the game. Instead, the Saints had to settle for a field goal to go up 23-20, watched the Rams tie the game minutes later, then lose in overtime.
As the episode played out, plenty of people had their fun with the no-call.
And, predictably, Twitter was in disbelief when it became clear no flags were going to be thrown on the play.
Twitter reacts to absurd no-call during Rams-Saints
Worst no-call of 2018 season.
— Peter King (@peter_king) January 20, 2019
12 times out of 10 that’s pass interference if its not a personal foul
— Micah Peters (@micahpeters_) January 20, 2019
Officials missed a call that could have been pass interference, helmet to helmet, unnecessary roughness, face guarding, any of them. Instead it was none of them.
The game, and legacies, were changed.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 20, 2019
On another note. Them 🦓’s be on some 🗑. Hate to see that happen in such a great game! 🤦🏾♂️
— LeBron James (@KingJames) January 20, 2019
That was PASS INTERFERENCE IF I’VE EVER WITNESSED PASS INTERFERENCE. WOW.
— StaceyDales (@StaceyDales) January 20, 2019
Refs can F a game up! Sheesh I know they hurting right now.
— Marcus Morris (@MookMorris2) January 20, 2019
Worst no call of the entire season.
— Michael Fabiano (@Michael_Fabiano) January 20, 2019
Lots of screaming at the bar about the non call
— Katherine Terrell (@Kat_Terrell) January 20, 2019
The most obvious PI of all time was just missed, right? A more obvious PI has never not been called ever, right? What a break for the Rams.
— Grant Paulsen (@granthpaulsen) January 20, 2019
What a horrible no call. Just awful. Playoff games being officiated completely diffferent than regular season when it comes to contact by DBs
— Kent Somers (@kentsomers) January 20, 2019
— James Harden (@JHarden13) January 20, 2019
Committing PI so egregious that the ref didn’t believe it could have been real is a good strategy
— Matt Brown (@MattBrownCFB) January 20, 2019
"nah that wasn't pass interference" pic.twitter.com/7dcm6PmiEG
— Rodger Sherman (@rodger) January 20, 2019
This is where the refs should be able to announce on the PA that the Saints can commit one penalty of their choice. 12 on the field, offside, whatever.
— Ryan Nanni (@celebrityhottub) January 20, 2019
Wow, has to be one of the worst no calls I’ve seen.
— Kyle Emanuel (@KyleEmanuel51) January 20, 2019
This game should be over. Abominable no-call.
— Doug Farrar (@NFL_DougFarrar) January 20, 2019
To be fair, that type of pass defense always worked in NFL Blitz
— Kevin Dillon (@ByKevinDillon) January 20, 2019
Trying to recall a less obvious PI that went uncalled. Still have nothing.
— Kyle Meinke (@kmeinke) January 20, 2019
THAT is a bad bad bad bad bad missed call. That is embarrassing. On every level. How the hel do you miss that call as a ref?!!!
— Louis Riddick (@LRiddickESPN) January 20, 2019
Cmon… gotta make that call!!!
— Kurt Warner (@kurt13warner) January 20, 2019
As a defender, I love these refs!!
— Prince Amukamara (@PrinceAmukamara) January 20, 2019
I hope the refs pay out of pocket for missing such a big easy call
— Kamar Aiken Sr (@KamarAiken88) January 20, 2019
These refs birdboxin
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) January 20, 2019
I thought this was an all star crew…
— TJ Lang (@TJLang70) January 20, 2019
Woah that was a big miss call right there
— Justin bethel (@Jbet26) January 20, 2019
Turn around n get that pick 23
— Zach Brown (@ZachBrown_55) January 20, 2019
I want all the people that tell me to get over the #tuckrule to tell drew Bree’s and the @Saints to get over that pass interference that wasn’t called that would have most likely ended the game in a saints win. I’ll wait
— Charles Woodson (@CharlesWoodson) January 20, 2019
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