This won't be much consolation to New Orleans Saints fans, but Sean Payton says the NFL admitted it blew the call on Rams defensive back Nickell Robey-Coleman's non-DPI late in the fourth quarter.
After the game, Payton said he had already spoken to the league office.
They admitted they messed up by not throwing a flag.
With the score tied at 20 late in the fourth quarter, Robey-Coleman blatantly hit Saints wide receiver Tommylee Lewis early on a third down pass deep in Rams territory, but no flag was thrown.
New Orleans had to settle for a field goal and a 23-20 lead.
The Rams tied the score at 23 on a Greg Zuerlein field goal in the final seconds of regulation, and won a trip to the Super Bowl on Zuerlein's 57-yard game-winner in overtime.
Making matters worse, Payton claims the NFL told him that not only did the refs miss the DPI, they also missed a helmet-to-helmet hit by Robey-Cpleman.
In terms of non-calls, this might be the worst one I can remember. It totally determined the outcome of a game.
Payton himself said his team may never get past this disappointment.
NFL refs have had a rough season, and today just made things worse.