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Instant Replay 2.0

John Rowland

Posted on January 27, 2019 12:47

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Any doubt that may have been associated with the Los Angeles Rams going to this year's Super Bowl has been removed.

As the storm surrounding "the controversial play" in the NFC Championship game starts to cool down, we all look now to next Sunday's Super Bowl between the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams.

But just to put a final exclamation point on things, if you're an NFL head coach and you repeat something that was told you by the league office, that is both an implicit and explicit endorsement of those remarks.

New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton said he spoke with someone in the league office who told him "they blew the call."

Really? Which call?

But many others have joined in this they-blew-the-call refrain, specifically referring to the no-pass-interference call near the end of last Sunday's NFC title game.

Here's the play from a somewhat different perspective that shows 4 interesting things. Check it out.

1. It shows where Ram cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman (#23 in white) was lined up when the ball was snapped. It also shows the defensive secondary communicating -- probably about coverage assignments. Coleman covered a lot of ground to even be involved in the play on the other side of the field.

2. A Rams defensive lineman (#90) comes awfully close to tipping the pass of Saints quarterback Drew Brees (#9 in black). This would have negated any possible pass interference call. The ball does kind of flutter a bit, but I don't know if Brees customarily throws tight spirals. So this was a close, but probably not, event.

3. Saints right guard (#67) is holding (a penalty) on the play. Yes, a lot of holding occurs in games that goes uncalled, but still, there it is.

4. And finally, Saints left guard (#75) is guilty of hands-to-the-face and facemask (both penalties) against #99 of the Rams.

While #1 above doesn't change any potential pass interference call and while #2 is close, either #3 or #4 definitely makes any discussion of pass interference by the Rams irrelevant because of offsetting penalties.

So the Rams most definitely won the game in a fair manner. They deserve to go to Atlanta.

Enjoy Super Sunday next week.

John Rowland

Posted on January 27, 2019 12:47

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