Three Reasons Blown Call DID NOT Cost Game for the Saints [LIST]
Allow me to play devil's advocate on this dark day for Saints fans. That egregious blown call did not cost our team, and here's why.
Let's start with the obvious... The blown no-call at the end of the game was, without question, the worst no-call in NFL history. Never have we seen a call, or lack of a call, have so much power and influence upon a game and the future of the two teams involved. Let's face it, if the penalty is called there, the Saints are on their way to Super Bowl 53, I think we all can agree on that.
Now, having said that, I don't believe that play, by itself, cost the game for our home team.
Below, I've listed the three reasons it did not.
Saints Took the Lead After Blown Call
This is, without a doubt, the main reason Saints fans cannot say that the blown call literally cost the game. The fact of the matter is that after the non-call, there was still football to be played. In fact, moments after the blown call, the Saints took a three-point lead. With minimal time left on the clock, all the Saints had to do was stop the Rams, and not let them march halfway down the field in a matter of seconds. If they did that, regardless of the blown call, the Saints would be heading to the big game.
No-Calls Go Both Ways
Of course it goes without saying that blown calls happen to both teams in every game. In fact, some would argue that there is a missed call on every single play. In this game particularly, there are four non-calls that benefited the Saints that certainly dictated how the game turned out. The Saints got away with a delay of game in the 3rd quarter. The Saints got away with a nasty facemask against Brandin Cooks. The Saints got away with literally stepping on a Rams' player's head. Most importantly, on the Rams' drive before the non-call that "doomed" the Saints, New Orleasns got away with a facemask against Jared Goff. This is important because it meant instead of a go-ahead touchdown, the Rams would settle for a tying field goal. The entire game is different if that facemask penalty is called.
Saints Get Ball First in Overtime
Friends, this is the end-all, be-all. The New Orleans Saints, after letting the Rams march down the field with ease and knock in a tying field goal, wen't into overtime IN THE DOME. To further increase their overtime advantage, the New Orleans Saints got the ball first. Meaning all they had to do was score a touchdown, and the game would be over and we're on our way to Atlanta. Blown call or not, the Saints had an EXTREMELY great chance to win the game at the overtime kickoff. But Drew Brees didn't receive the protection needed, gets his arm slapped as he throws, and the Rams pick it off. The rest is history and the Rams are rightfully headed to the Superbowl.