The Rams benefited from what should be considered the worst officiating error in NFL history, a non-call on an obvious pass interference against the Saints in an NFC championship game. Without that mistake, the Rams don’t go to the Super Bowl a couple seasons ago. The call was so bad, the NFL instituted a new rule that teams could challenge pass interference, and ditched that rule after a year.
Let’s keep that in mind as the Rams air their grievances over a pass interference that was called on Sunday, and cost them what would have been one of the greatest comeback wins in NFL history.
The Rams rallied from trailing 28-3 against the Buffalo Bills to take a lead in the fourth quarter. It would have been the biggest comeback in team history. The Rams thought they had the game won on a fourth-down incompletion with less than a minute to go.
Then the flag came out. The Rams weren’t happy.
Rams didn’t like a crucial PI call
Truthfully, the Rams have a legitimate gripe.
Rams defensive back Darious Williams was covering Bills receiver Gabriel Davis on fourth down and while there was some contact downfield, it didn’t seem to be a foul. But NFL officials too often look for reasons to call penalties, not the other way around.
This one cost the Rams the game. The Bills scored after that to win 35-32.
"It was the wrong call," Rams safety John Johnson III said, via Lindsey Thiry of ESPN. "We can't narrow it down to that one play, but I don't think it was a PI."
Rams receiver Robert Woods said the call was “obviously not” pass interference.
“Being out there, he's playing defensive back, he's playing hands-on, he's checking him, and as he gets into his route, the receiver initiates the contact and the quarterback is literally just throwing the ball in the area, and it wasn't even a catchable ball,” Woods said, via Thiry. “But, obviously, they made the call, it is what it is, you got to keep playing and finish the game.”
The Saints won’t feel bad for them.
Rams had a huge comeback
The Rams are still 2-1 and can take momentum from a great comeback against the Bills, even if it didn’t result in a win. They played tremendously to get back in the game and take the lead against a good Buffalo team, after it looked like they were going to get blown out.
Los Angeles likely did get hosed, but it happens. Over the course of a game, calls go for and against each team, and over a 60-minute game there is always more than one play or one call to blame for a loss.
It’s just that the irony of the Rams complaining about a pass interference that was called is too rich to pass up.
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