Los Angeles Rams NFC Championship win is anything but tainted

The Los Angeles Rams defeated the New Orleans Saints to advance to Super Bowl LIII in a game that is marred with controversy.

The Los Angeles Rams did what many people thought they were going to do at the beginning of the season when they were dominating every team they faced: advanced all the way to Super Bowl LIII.

However, since that domination, the Rams have not been viewed as the same world beaters. The team was the second seed in the NFC, after all, and had two revealing losses to the Chicago Bears and Philadelphia Eagles that worried fans.

The Rams were the underdogs heading into the NFC Championship against the New Orleans Saints and not only played against the Saints but a deafening Superdome crowd. After falling behind 13-0, it appeared as if the Rams bit off more than they could chew.

After all, Jared Goff and Sean McVay are both pretty inexperienced while Drew Brees and Sean Payton have plenty of experience. Nine times out of ten the home team with the veteran quarterback gets the job done.

That was not the case as the Rams stormed back into the game and stifled the Saints’ offense, allowing the high-profile offense to score just 10 points the entire rest of the game. The Rams forced overtime, forced Drew Brees to throw an interception and let Greg Zuerlein blast a game-winning 57-yard field goal.

But there is a giant question mark hanging over the Rams’ head, one that the Saints, and their fans, will hold onto for a long time.

A missed pass interference call.

If you are even remotely a football fan then you have seen the play by now. Nickell Robey-Coleman not only made contact but blasted Saints receiver Tommylee Lewis on a pass that would have essentially given the Saints the win.

Even the pass interference call would have given the Saints the win. New Orleans would have been able to drain the clock with the first down and kick a game-winning field goal as time expired. Instead, the Saints kicked a field goal and gave Jared Goff 1:41 to work.

Was it a pass interference call? Absolutely. League officials even confirmed that the referees missed the call (h/t USA Today). I guess you could make the case that in full-speed it might not have seemed as bad as it was, but still, it is pretty hard to refute the call.

That is not why the Saints lost the game though. There is a picture being painted that the call was the sole reason why the Saints lost and they were absolutely robbed in a game that they absolutely should have won.

Would that call have won the Saints the game? Yes. But it was not the call that cost them the game, it was the team’s inability to consistently score on the Rams. Heck, the Saints had two chances, one on defense and one on offense, to right the wrong and win the game regardless.

They did not come through. Is that the penalties fault? Absolutely not. The penalty may have cracked the door open for the Rams but it was the Saints that were unable to reclose it.

And if you look at the NFL there are these kinds of calls so many times that the Saints are not the only team that can make this case. Just go back to the Rams’ previous drive, where Jared Goff should have received a facemask call, which would have given the Rams first and goal.

This likely would have led to a Los Angeles Rams touchdown instead of a game-tying field goal and would have completely changed the entire next drive, likely leading to that blown PI call never even happening.

But nobody is really talking about that missed facemask call because it was not as blatant. At the end of the day, a blown call is a blown call. They both affected the game in a huge way.

Should penalties be reviewable? Absolutely. That was absolutely a blown call.

However, that then means that the Rams could have challenged the facemask call, which again, would have completely changed the rest of the game, perhaps more than the missed PI call did.

I understand that New Orleans Saints fans feel robbed and feel like their team didn’t lose that game. I am sorry to break it to them: it was not the missed call that beat you, it was the Los Angeles Rams.