By the end of the day on the Monday after the Super Bowl, we’ve usually beaten every single topic to death.
But there was a suggestion on ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption today that a potentially major officiating error — a block in the back on Tracy Porter’s pick-six off Peyton Manning — has been overlooked.
The Pardon the Interruption mailbag segment began with the question, “Why is no one talking about the block in the back hit that Peyton took on the interception return?” ESPN then showed a replay spotlighting Saints defensive end Will Smith shoving Manning in the back as Porter ran past him for a touchdown.
It was hardly the most flagrant example of an uncalled block in the back you’ll ever see, but it’s a fair question: Should Smith have been flagged for blocking Manning in the back?
If Smith had been flagged, it would have significantly changed the game. Instead of being ahead 31-17, the Saints would have been up just 24-17, with the ball on their own 40-yard line and the Colts having all three timeouts. If the Colts had been able to stop the Saints there, they could have gotten the ball back down just seven points with more than two minutes left in the game.
Instead, Porter’s touchdown stood, and the Saints won 31-17.
You can watch the play at NFL.com. What do you think, PFT Planet? Did the Saints benefit from a block in the back?