Saints coach Sean Payton says the NFL told him officials botched a crucial pass interference call late in the fourth quarter of the NFC championship game. New Orleans was eliminated by the Rams 26-23 in overtime one game from the Super Bowl.
The Saints faced third-and-10 from the Rams 13 in the final two minutes when Los Angeles defensive back Nickell Robey-Coleman slammed into Tommylee Lewis, connecting helmet-to-helmet, while Drew Brees’ pass was still in the air. Payton and the Saints were livid when no flag was thrown. The missed call started a sequence that pushed the game to overtime.
Payton says officials on the field told him Robey-Coleman “arrived at the same time that the ball did.” Payton got on the phone with the league to discuss the call immediately after the game.
“We lose a chance to go to the Super Bowl with a call like that, it’s just disappointing,” Payton said.