The Monday following the NFC Championship Game has been an endless chain of reactions to one controversial play. But that controversy may have just gotten a new layer as a new replay angle reveals how the officials initially reacted.
WDSU photographer Alvin Moore caught the controversial hit on Saints wide receiver Tommylee Lewis as he was angling to catch a pass from Drew Brees.
What should have been an immediate pass interference flag was not thrown, and the video appears to show why.
NFL down judge Patrick Turner, the closest official to the play, can be seen reaching for the flag, but then changes his mind and signals for an incompletion.
Turner was then approached by side judge Gary Cavaletto, and can be seen mouthing the term “bang, bang.”
Look at this angle (and slow-mo shots that follow).
NFL down judge Patrick Turner clearly reaches for penalty flag on his waistband before signaling incomplete pass & telling side judge Gary Cavaletto "bang bang." pic.twitter.com/ky9ZhQp5Um
— Fletcher Mackel (@FletcherWDSU) January 21, 2019
There is still some issue with the video, namely that it does not indicate whether Turner decided on his own to signal for the incompletion or whether Cavaletto made the determination first.
Ultimately, we may never know exactly how the officials determined to call the play unless the judges are called to account directly.
The Saints were forced to kick a field goal on fourth down, only for the Rams to tie the game and force overtime at the Superdome.
But after a Drew Brees interception, the Rams won the game on a 57-yard boot from kicker Greg Zeurlein.
The outrage was tangible even before the Rams made the two field goals though, and has persisted for the full day since the controversial play.