NFL playoffs 2019: Saints owner Gayle Benson says she'll 'aggressively pursue changes in NFL policies'

NFL playoffs 2019: Saints owner Gayle Benson says she'll 'aggressively pursue changes in NFL policies'

Saints owner Gayle Benson said Monday she will “aggressively pursue changes in NFL policies” in the wake of the infamous no-call that likely cost her team the NFC championship game.

Benson released a statement on the team’s website addressing the 26-23 overtime loss to the Rams.

“Yesterday’s result is still difficult to accept for all of us,” Benson wrote. “I am thoroughly disappointed by the events that led to the outcome of yesterday’s game. Getting to the Super Bowl is incredibly difficult to do and takes such an unbelievable commitment from a team and support from its fans. No team should ever be denied the opportunity to reach the title game (or simply win a game) based on the actions, or inactions, of those charged with creating a fair and equitable playing field. 

“As is clear to all who watched the game, it is undeniable that our team and fans were unfairly deprived of that opportunity yesterday. I have been in touch with the NFL regarding yesterday’s events and will aggressively pursue changes in NFL policies to ensure no team and fan base is ever put in a similar position again. It is a disservice to our coaches, players, employees and, most importantly, the fans who make our game possible. The NFL must always commit to providing the most basic of expectations — fairness and integrity.”

New Orleans was at the wrong end of a no-call in the final minutes of the fourth quarter in its NFC Championship contest against Los Angeles.

Quarterback Drew Brees threw the ball down the sideline to wide receiver Tommylee Lewis with the score tied at 20 and the ball in the red zone. But, Lewis was knocked down by Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman and failed to catch the pass. Had pass interference been called, the Saints would have been able to either score a TD or run out the clock and attempt a short game-winning field goal.

The no-call sparked criticism online and a prompt phone call from coach Sean Payton to the league office immediately following the game.

“We’ll probably never get over it,” Payton said Sunday.

The NFL has yet to say anything publicly about the no-call, but, according to a report from The Washington Post, “NFL leaders and the league’s rulemaking competition committee” will consider making pass interference calls subject to challenges and replay review.