Woke up feelin’ spicy so let’s have some fun and stir the gumbo. The Saints deserve just as much blame for losing the NFCCG as the refs.

All during the SB my twitter feed was inundated with smug Saints fans boasting how the Saints were the true winners of the NFCCG (no) and they would have put on a better performance than the Rams (probably). Saints fans turned out in droves to have a protest party in Atlanta for the game. They sued the NFL. The state senator argued about it in congress. The TV ratings in New Orleans for the game was incredibly low. Saints fans were and still are making it very known that they are not happy about the loss. Can’t really blame them for that. That was a tough loss. Emotions are always hyper-reactionary to an absurd degree for playoff heartbreak. I mean last year it got so bad by Vikings fans that I had to defend Eagles fans. Gross. My point is I get why they are mad. I get it. I’d be mad too. I also wish the Saints had reached the Super Bowl; I would have enjoyed that match-up more.

What I don’t like is that many Saints fans seem to be running with the narrative that the missed call lost the game. That missed call was everything. If not for that call, the Saints are literally in the Super Bowl. Nope. I do not want this to become accepted as truth because it’s bullshit. The Saints should have won that game anyway but choked. Let’s lay down some mother fuck’n facts.

The play happens at 1:45 in the 4th at roughly the 6 yard line. The Rams have 1 timeout left. If the call is made, the Saints have first and goal from the 6 yard line. The Rams are only able to stop the clock once. This is, undoubtedly, an extremely favorable situation for the Saints. If this occurs, the probability of a Saints victory is very, very high. It is however, not guaranteed.

Any number of things could happen in that 1:45. The Saints bleed the clock and kick a field goal with little time left. They score a TD with little time left. They throw a bad INT and it goes to overtime. They throw a pick 6 or a pick that reaches field goal range for the Rams to win. They fumble. They shank the field goal. They score too fast and the Rams come back anyway. Granted, all of these outcomes are unlikely, but Saints fans of all people should know that it only takes one play to go wrong and lose everything!  Seriously, Saints fans should be the last fanbase on the planet to know to take this shit for granted. If the call is made the Saints have a very good chance of winning. But it’s not guaranteed.

But more important here is the thing Saints fans don’t seem to want to admit. After the call, they still had an extremely good chance to win. And they failed miserably. In fact, if that call controversy doesn’t happen and dominate the narrative of the game, this might be one of the worst chokes in NFCCG history.

The Saints, after the call, took the lead with 1:40 left. I would like to take this moment to let you know you should re-read that sentence. Soak it in. They took a 3-point lead with under 2 minutes to go. It might not be as good a chance to win, but that’s a pretty good position to be in. All the Saints have to do at that point is stop the Rams for one drive. The Rams have 1 timeout. The clock is not in their favor. The game so far has been largely defensive. The Saints busted out a quick 14 point lead, which they slowly relinquished over the course of the game to where they are tied at 20 before the no-call.

By the way, yeah. The Saints had this game completely under control and just let the Rams worm their way back in. If this team is so special and the Rams are such frauds, why did that happen? One bad call doesn’t explain that. Explain that, Saints.

So the Saints have to hold the Rams out of field goal range at minimum for 1:40. The Rams were within easy field goal range with 19 seconds left. *makes choking noise*

The Rams were also, by the way, affected by a bad no-call on a facemask on the previous drive, which according to McVay made it tougher to go for a TD and the win. This may not have been as bad as the missed PI, but it also affected the Saints chances in a positive way. Honestly while the Saints clearly got the worst of the ref failure that day, it was bad all around for both teams and had an unknown true impact. I think Sean Payton is justified in how he reacted to that call though.

So the Saints had to hold the Rams for one drive and they blew it. But hey, the game isn’t over. We’re going into overtime! There is still a chance to pull this off. Hey, it’s at home! That’s an advantage. Hey, they won the coin toss and elect to get the ball first! That’s a positive. This is still leaning in the Saints favor!

The offensive line failed, Brees got hit, and the now dead duck got picked off. *Choking noises get louder*

Well, now the Saints have to hold the Rams back. Still possible. Do they? Kinda. The Rams don’t get far and take a chance on a stupid long field goal instead of playing safe and punting (for the record that decision surprised me, I thought the Rams should punt because a missed FG there gave the Saints great position). The 57 yard kick, completing one of the best comebacks in Rams history, goes through. Nobody will talk about that. Nobody will give that 57 yard kick the honor it deserves, and nobody will give the Rams the credit they deserve for their gutsiest performance all season long. Especially now since they ate shit two weeks later.

The missed call is the defining moment of the game, for better or worse. If a Saints fan ever tells you the Rams didn’t belong in the Super Bowl, tell them that they shouldn’t have let the fuckers in. Some might say the missed call got into the Saints heads and damaged morale. Well, frankly that’s on the coaching and the players for not being able to deal with it. Good teams don’t let one call ruin them. They bounce back.

TL:DR – The call affected the outcome of the game. But it did not decide the game. Never forget the Saints also choked.

One last thing, to all the smug Vikings fans reveling in the Saints getting screwed as some sort of “justice” for Bountygate. Bountygate didn’t make Brett Favre throw across his body straight into Tracy Porter’s hands. You choked too.