NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - After spending more than 20 years in the NFL, former Saints general manager Jim Miller said the non-call with 1 minute and 45 seconds left in the game was the most egregious he’s ever seen.
“A couple gutless officials looked at each other and decided not to throw the flag,” Miller said.
Miller said it’s particularly frustrating because the referees didn’t just miss one call, and from what he saw on the field, they missed two in that one play.
“They had two options to call pass interference, which they didn’t, but they could have called a personal foul for the helmet-to-helmet hit, and the fact they did nothing is frustrating,” Miller said.
Now, fans are faced with how to move on from such a heart-breaking loss, and what many call a stolen win.
“I think its obvious the league has to take up some kind of change or amendment that will prevent something like that from happening,” Miller said.
Saints head coach Sean Payton is in a perfect position to help bring about that change.
“I’m on the competition committee, hopefully that provides a voice. I hope no other team has to lose the game the way we lost that one today though,” Payton said after Sunday’s game.
The NFL’s competition committee is tasked with changing the rules in the NFL. According to Miller, there’s no doubt Payton will bring up the highly scrutinized play as the committee’s first matter of business when they meet in March.
FOX 8 Saints analyst Deuce McAllister said there’s nothing to describe the NFC championship game other than “hurt.”
“Just from a team and player perspective, it’s going to be a while for them to process and get over it,” McAllister said.
He said as much as the fans and even some team members want a re-do of the call or of the game, it’s just not going to happen.
“If they’re told yes, Goddell would allow them to play again, [and] that would be unprecedented for him to be able to step in and do something of that nature," McAllister said. “There is a rule 17, he can step in and do something of that nature, but I don’t think this is going to fall under that kind of rule.”
McAllister said it’s not time to dwell on the loss, but rather to start channeling that energy for next year.
“They’re a resilient bunch. Some of the things this town and the players that they’ve been through, they’re a tough group," McAllister said. “But for me, it’s another chapter, and you let it be the fuel to the fire that eventually gets you to bounce back next year.”
However, everyone copes in different ways. And for Miller, he said you won’t find him watching the 2019 Super Bowl.
“Right now what we can do is I’m going to play golf on Super Bowl Sunday,” Miller said.