Lewis was running a wheel route on third-and-10 from the Rams’ 13-yard line in the final two minutes in a 20-20 ballgame. That’s when Robey-Coleman just decked the receiver. Everyone was looking for that yellow laundry on the field, and it never appeared:
The notoriously loud Mercedes-Benz Superdome was booming with boos. The Rams would eventually force overtime and win 26-23. Understandably, everybody is pointing to this play as the one that cost New Orleans a trip to the Super Bowl.
Since the play, the Rams have done nothing but own the mistake made by officials.
That’s been a smart way to go about it, if you’re the Rams. They were going to make enemies whether they owned up to being lucky or not, and sometimes honesty is the best policy. This was one of those times.
Robey-Coleman not only admitted to committing pass interference, but also explained HOW he did it.
Here are some of Robey-Coleman’s postgame quotes, condensed to spare you the other small details of the play that we aren’t concerned with:
“Oh, hell yeah,” Robey-Coleman said. “That was P.I.”
“I just know I got there before the ball got there,” Robey-Coleman said. “And I whacked his ass.”
“I thought it was going to be a bang-bang play,” Robey-Coleman said. “But when I got up, I thought it was P.I., because I didn’t look back for the ball. My teammates were like, ‘Think about if you were to look back, that could have been a pick-six.’ Because he threw it kind of short. But that didn’t happen. I seen his hands go up, and I just hit him, bro. I just hit him.”
Despite all of Robey-Coleman’s admissions, Sean McVay had the best quote.
If you’re looking for a reason to be Big Mad at the Rams, McVay handed it to you last night after the game:
McVay: “The one thing I respect about the refs today is they let the guys play.”— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) January 21, 2019
But if you choose to accept things as they are, that’s one of the best postgame quotes of all time. The Rams were also on the wrong side of some calls, making McVay’s quote both petty and true at the same time.
Todd Gurley posted a meme of him swapping jerseys with Bill Vinovich after the game.
It turned something Saints fans would use as “HAHA SEE! YEAH! THIS PERFECTLY DESCRIBES HOW THEY CHEATED!” into something even funnier.
Now it’s, “lol, even Todd Gurley knows they got away with one!” and “holy shit! he actually posted this!”
Unless my memory serves me wrong (has certainly happened before), that’s probably the best Instagram post by an NFL player ever.
All of these things are why the Rams are a team people can actually like.
There’s not a lot for the Rams to gain if they were to try and act like we’re all morons and deny the obvious. Most people would probably be calling them assholes or some such today had they been doing that.
Instead, the Rams are offering themselves as a nice alternative to root for in the Super Bowl. They’re awesome in comparison to the Patriots, who insist that they — five-time Super Bowl champs — are underdogs with odds stacked against them.
And while the Saints unquestionably were on the wrong end of the Robey-Coleman play, there are plenty of other instances where the Saints got breaks, including an uncalled facemask on Jared Goff that would’ve given the Rams first-and-goal on a late drive when McVay settled for a field goal:
Sure, had that pass interference been called, the Saints run a few kneel downs, and they march on to Atlanta. However, there were also other opportunities where the Saints could have put the game away, as Marcus Peters explained:
#Rams Marcus Peters on #Saints anger over blown pass interference: “If they coach run the football on first and second down, they probably ain’t even going to be sitting here talking about this. ... You give Sean McVay the ball back with 1:43 or something, we’re going to score.”— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) January 21, 2019
Even in overtime, the Saints did get the ball first, and Brees threw an interception.
Also, remember how Sean Payton made weirdly exhaustive efforts to get Taysom Hill a touchdown all throughout the game with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line? Yeah.
Regardless, the Rams handled the aftermath perfectly.
The more the Rams accept The Thing for what it is, the quicker they can move past it, and focus on Super Bowl 53 in Atlanta.