Referee Bill Vinovich says he did not see controversial non-call play in Rams-Saints NFC title game
Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman blatantly hit Saints wide receiver Tomylee Lewis before making contact with the ball with just under two minutes remaining in the game. According to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport, head official Bill Vinovich claims he did not see the play:
“It’s a judgment call by the officials. I personally have not seen the play.”
Regardless of whether or not Vinovich saw the play, it’s still a bad look for this entire officiating crew. They could have flagged Robey-Coleman for a number of penalties on the particular play. Head coach Sean Payton’s frustration was certainly understandable, since it is safe to assume that the outcome could have been much different if they done so.
There is no question that the no-call had a drastic impact on the game, however it should be noted that this was not the only one the officials missed on the night. The Saints also received their fair share of no-calls earlier in the game. Either way, it can ultimately be attributed to a poor performance by Vinovich and his staff.
It will be interesting to see how the league goes about holding officials accountable moving forward. Releasing one statement after another about what calls should and should not have been made has become a bit superfluous at this point. Regardless, the Rams are now headed to Super Bowl LIII.