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Saints File Brief Supporting NFL's Argument in Lawsuit over Title Game No-Call

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 8, 2019

FILE - In this Jan. 20, 2019, file photo, Los Angeles Rams' Nickell Robey-Coleman breaks up a pass intended for New Orleans Saints' Tommylee Lewis during the second half of the NFL football NFC championship game, in New Orleans.  Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Calais Campbell watched the NFL’s conference championship games on his phone while flying home from South Africa last weekend. Campbell was stunned officials chose not to penalize Robey-Coleman for flattening Saints receiver Tommylee Lewis before the ball arrived. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)
Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

The New Orleans Saints are set to file a legal brief in support of the NFL as part of a lawsuit against the league by fans in response to the pass interference no-call in the 2018 NFC Championship Game against the Los Angeles Rams.

David Hammer of WWL reported the Saints' filing states it shares the fanbase's disappointment about the result but feels the NFL's rule changes to in-game challenges of pass interference are a satisfactory response to the situation.

Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman blatantly interfered with Saints wide receiver Tommylee Lewis on a third-down play in the final minutes of the fourth quarter of the NFC title game.

Instead of a first down for New Orleans deep in Los Angeles territory with less than two minutes remaining, the Saints were forced to attempt a field goal, which they made. It left the Rams enough time to tie the game with 15 seconds left in regulation before winning in overtime.

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

#Saints coach Sean Payton referenced it post-game: Senior VP of Officiating Al Riveron did, in fact, acknowledge the missed call vs the #Rams to Payton. The NFL admitted its error — the call should have been have defensive pass interference, source said.

L.A. went on to lose Super Bowl LIII to the New England Patriots.

In June, the NFL announced officials will now have the ability to review potential pass interference when there's "clear and obvious visual evidence" a foul may have been committed.

Three federal lawsuits filed against the league in reference to the no-call have all been dismissed. Saints fans have attempted to reignite the effort at the state level in Louisiana, where Judge Nicole Sheppard of the New Orleans Civil District Court ordered NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to testify in the case.

The NFL is bidding to have the state lawsuit dismissed, though, and now it has the Saints' support in that effort.