Saints owners say the team & # 39; is unfair & # 39; because of missed calls in NFC game titles


New Orleans Saints owner Gayle Benson said on Monday that his team was "unfairly revoked" the chance to reach Super Bowl 53 after match officials missed a clear interference interference at the Los Angeles Rams at the end of Sunday's NFC Championship match.

"No team can be denied the chance to reach the title [or simply win a game] "based on action, or inaction, of those accused of creating a fair and equal playing field," Benson said. " As is clear to all who watch the match, it is undeniable that our team and fans unfairly lost that opportunity yesterday. "

The Saints had the ball in the 13-yard Rams with less than two minutes to play in a draw match when Los Angeles cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman hit New Orleans receiver Tommylee Lewis with a helmet-to-helmet hit long before the bait. from Drew Brees arrived inside 5.

Feed problems or unnecessary roughness penalties will make Saints make the first down and allow it to run clock down before kicking a field goal that has the potential to win the match. In contrast, the Saints were forced to settle for Wil Lutz's 31-yard field goal which made it 23-20 with 1:41 remaining in regulation. The Rams tied the game with 19 seconds remaining on a 48-yard field goal by Greg Zuerlein and then won 26-23 in overtime after Zuerlein scored a 58-yard field goal.


After the match, Saints head coach Sean Payton told reporters that league officials had admitted to him that the lead crew led by referee Bill Vinovich had missed the call.

"It's not just a disturbance, it's a helmet-to-helmet," said the coach. "I don't know if there is a clearer pass."

On Monday, Benson said he had been in contact with the NFL and "would aggressively pursue changes in NFL policy to ensure that no team and fan base had ever been placed in the same position again." Benson did not specify what the change was. However, The Washington Post reported on Monday that the league would consider making interference calls reviewed by instant replays.


The NFL introduced the current "challenge" system for instant replays at the start of the 1999 season, eight years after the previous, more limited systems were removed amid concerns about the effect on the flow of the game. The current system is not used to review so-called "subjective" penalties such as a pass disorder but is used to determine, for example, whether a number of legitimate players are on the field when the ball is stopped or whether the quarterback throws the ball. cross the line of soccer practice.

Benson, who has been the sole owner of the Saints since the death of her husband Tom last March, is not the first or most prominent NFL figure to advocate for expanded replays. In 2013, New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick told ESPN that coaches must be allowed to challenge every game they want.


"I understand that a judgment call is a judgment call, but to say that an important game cannot be reviewed, I don't think it really is in the spirit of trying to get everything right and making sure the most important game is formalized correctly," Belichick told at that time. "If it's an offensive, if you think one of the offensive midfielders is attacking your man when he runs to the midfielder, and the ball hasn't been thrown, they come back and look at it and if it's a serious offense they will call. We have to stick with it, but now only in certain games and certain situations.

"It's a bit confusing for me about what games, and which games aren't, challenging," added the five-time Super Bowl champion coach. "I'm sure this confuses fans to find out what that is all about."

Click for more from The Washington Post.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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