Sean Payton on missed call: ‘We’ll probably never get over it’

Moments after the Saints lost to the Rams in overtime the Saints locker room was in stunned silence, according to reporters on the scene. The NFC Championship should never have gone to overtime. The game should have effectively ended when Rams corner Nickell Robey-Coleman clearly interfered with Saints receiver Tommylee Lewis on a deep pass in the final minutes. Robey-Coleman not only got there early for the PI, he hit Lewis’s head with his helmet. Any number of calls could have been made, all of which would have allowed the Saints to wind down the clock and attempt a chip shot field goal for the win.

Saints head coach Sean Payton called the league office immediately after and said he was told that the officials, “blew it.”

Payton, still angry with a side of somberness did not hold back on what many will consider the worst no-call in playoff history.

“It’s tough to get over it. We’ll probably never get over it,” Payton said. “My problem with it, I don’t know, if we were playing pickup football in the backyard…It was an obvious call and how two guys can look at that and come up with that decision?”

Saints running back Mark Ingram expressed his despair in fewer words.

The no-call was a clear deciding action but some of Payton’s play calling down the stretch left much to be desired. For example he dialed up a screen pass on the play prior to the missed pass interference when the Saints needed to wind down the clock.

Still the big storyline in this game was the missed call, a penalty that should have so obviously been called that even Robey-Coleman admitted he was early.

The NFL has a lot of soul searching to do with its officiating.