The New Orleans Saints lost to the Minnesota Vikings on a Kirk Cousins to Kyle Rudolph walk-off touchdown connection, therefore ending their 2019 NFL season. However, there was a real question as to if Rudolph should be credited with a touchdown or offensive pass interference.
On the play, Rudolph pushed off the chest of safety P.J. Williams with one hand. He did so forcefully, to the point where Williams’ head swiveled backward. That is often called for offensive pass interference. However, a short review, that was not the case. The Vikings won.
NFL senior vice president of officiated Al Riveron, in a statement of an interview conducted by Larry Holder of The Athletic, announced that the contact was not enough to constitute a foul.
“We looked at all of the angles that FOX afforded us, and FOX gave us some great views,” Riveron said. “There is contact by both players, but none of that contact rises to the level of a foul. This is consistent with what we’ve done all year long, we left the ruling on the field. We let it stand.”
The NFL allows coaches to challenge the lack of pass interference, thanks to a certain no-call against the Saints. However, they do not allow that to transfer over to overtime. The officiating crew briefly looked over it — as it was a scoring play — but found that no pass interference was found, ending the Saints’ season in return.
To the naked eye, it was a push-off. To the referees’ eyes, perhaps not — or so they say.