The Los Angeles Rams defeated the New Orleans Saints 26-23 in overtime on Sunday afternoon in the NFC Championship Game to advance to the Super Bowl in Atlanta. It was a great game that didn’t go off without controversy.
With under two minutes left in regulation with the Saints driving on LA’s 13-yard-line, Drew Brees wanted to hit Tommyleee Lewis on a short pass towards the right sideline, but he never got a chance to catch the ball as he was tackled early by Rams defensive back Nickell-Robey Coleman. No flag was thrown.
Following the game, Saints coach Sean Payton spoke out against the call after the game, saying an NFL official told him in a phone call after the game that it was a “blown call.”
Rams head coach Sean McVay was asked about that same play in his post-game press conference, and his opinion of the officiating was fairly different.
“I thought it was a bang-bang type play,” McVay said. “The one thing I respect about the refs today is they let the guys compete and they let the guys play. I thought Nickell-Robey made a nice play, they snapped it on a quick snap and had a little wheel route coming out of the backfield. I thought it was a competitive-type play, I thought they let the guys compete within the framework of the rules and that’s part of what NFL football is about.
“Certainly I’m not going to complain about the way that was officiated,” McVay continued.
One could only guess that McVay would sing a different tune if his team had been the one to lose in a such a way as the Saints’ did.