New Orleans Saints' head coach Sean Payton told reporters after his team's NFC Championship Game loss to the Los Angeles Rams that the league told him the officials missed a pass interference call late in the fourth quarter.
The Saints fell to the Rams in overtime, but they could've iced the game late in the fourth quarter if the blatant pass interference had been called.
"For a call like that not to be made, man, it's just hard to swallow. And then to get a phone call ..." Payton said. "We spoke initially, then I called to follow up. And the first thing [head of officials Alberto Riveron] said when I got on the phone -- 'We messed it up.'
The officials on the field had apparently said something different.
Rams' cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman, who made contact with the Saints' wide receiver, said the referee told him the ball was tipped at the line of scrimmage, allowing him to make contact.
"Nickell Robey-Coleman said the refs told him the ball was tipped so he was free to blast the receiver. Would have been a PI if the ball was not tipped," D. Orlando Ledbetter tweeted.
The ball was not tipped, though...
The Rams will now play the Patriots in the Super Bowl in Atlanta in two weeks. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. E.T. on CBS.