U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) discussed the government shutdown on the Senate floor today before discussing what happened in the Saints game.
Cassidy spoke on the floor regarding “the most blatant and consequential blown call in NFL history,” which kept the New Orleans Saints from winning the NFC Championship game against the Los Angeles Rams and then playing in the Super Bowl.
Senator Cassidy brought evidence of Rams corner back Nickell Robey-Coleman interfering with the Saints receiver.
Today, the NFL fined Robey-Coleman $26,739 for his helmet-to-helmet hit in that game.
The NFL fined the cornerback for the hit on Lewis that was not flagged during the NFC Championship Game, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Friday.
The hit happened when Robey-Coleman appeared to run into Lewis before the ball arrived from Saints quarterback Drew Brees — a controversial play with less than two minutes remaining in a 20-20 game, ESPN reports.
A flag for pass interference would have given the Saints a first down, and a helmet-to-helmet hit would have tacked on an additional 15 yards, ESPN reports.
The Rams won 26-23 in overtime to advance to Super Bowl LIII.
“It was simple. They blew the call. They said it should never have not been a call,” Saints Coach Sean Payton said after the game of the explanation he received. “They said not only was it interference, it was helmet-to-helmet. They just — they couldn’t believe it.”
Robey-Coleman admitted he briefly thought the flag would come out but said that an official on the field told him he suspected the ball was tipped, which replays clearly showed was not the case, ESPN reports.