Sunday afternoon, the Minnesota Vikings defeated the New Orleans Saints for the first overtime victory in team playoff history. The final play, however, was met with considerable criticism from the home crowd and users on social media. It appeared to many that the Vikings had committed pass interference, but the league did not review that aspect of the play.
On the game-winning play in question, tight end Kyle Rudolph jumped up and caught a fade pass from quarterback Kirk Cousins. However, the announcing duo of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman commented that it appeared to be offensive pass interference. Rudolph had seemingly extended his arm, pushing away cornerback P.J. Williams. This is illegal in the NFL and would automatically negate the touchdown.
The league would have had to initiate the replay challenge due to overtime rules, but they remained quiet. Instead, the officials confirmed the touchdown, giving the Vikings a victory and sending the Saints home early for the third consecutive season.
"Where was the flag for pass interference?" one user asked on Sunday afternoon. Others responded by discussing how the referees seemingly have it out for the Saints and head coach Sean Payton.
"This is ridiculous with a pass interference you’re not even gonna review it. They should of a least reviewed the play the Saints got screwed again," another user added after the game. This is the second season that the pass interference rule played a role in a playoff loss, and the Saints fans are frustrated.
Last season, the Saints hosted the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Championship. The goal was to secure a trip to Super Bowl LIII. The controversy became the talking point of the game after Drew Brees targeted wide receiver TommyLee Lewis near the goal line. Rams defender Nickell Robey-Coleman raced in and hit the receiver early, which should have been called pass interference.
It was not possible to review the play under the previous pass interference rules, so the Saints were forced to settle for a field goal. The Rams would ultimately win in overtime, paving the way for an offseason of discussion and an eventual rule change.0comments
With Saints head coach Sean Payton helping lead the way, the NFL made it possible to review pass interference, which should have played a role in future playoff games. Sunday afternoon, however, the league let the play stand without a review, angering a multitude of Saints fans.
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