For the second consecutive NFL season, the New Orleans Saints were eliminated at home in the playoffs, and once again, they felt as if they got screwed with the outcome.
In OT, Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph caught a 4-yard touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins on the first possession to win the NFC wild card matchup, but upon seeing the replay, fans became enraged that Rudolph used his hand to create space and implored the league to step in and review it. They did not and the Vikings won.
Veteran NFL referee Terry McAulay, who now works for NBC during the broadcast of Sunday Night Football during the season, believes Rudolph should have been flagged for offensive pass interference.
“It is illegal for an offensive player to extend his arm or arms and create clear separation from the defender,” McAulay wrote in a tweet. “That was OPI.”
Rudolph can be seen gaining separation from Robinson by pushing off his chest, and immediately after that catch, the Saints CB complained to the nearest referee following the play to no avail.
If PI was called, the Vikings would’ve been facing a third-and-goal from the Saints 14-yard line, and a field goal would’ve allowed the Saints to get a possession.
After the game, Saints head coach Sean Payton was blaming nothing and nobody for the outcome.
“Tip your hats to Minnesota,” Payton said. “They deserved to win. . . . They made more plays than we did.”