The coaches’ film from Sunday’s Rams-Saints game shows how badly out of position defensive back Nickell Robey-Coleman was before the snap that ended in him blowing up receiver Tommylee Lewis. An angle of the play from a fan in the Superdome end zone shows how perfectly in position the official who failed to throw the flag was.
Robey-Coleman sprinted toward Lewis and slammed into him before the ball arrived. From the end-zone angle, it’s obvious. It’s also obvious that the official looking right at it didn’t see it.
Or, perhaps, he saw it but decided to “let them play,” with the decision to bury the flag deep in his pocket justified by the decision of the Saints to throw the ball for the second time in three snaps.
Whatever the reason, this is precisely the kind of mistake that could have been quickly rectified by the use of the pipeline to 345 Park Avenue, regardless of whether that pipeline currently isn’t supposed to be used for those purposes. The goal should be to get it right, without regard to bylaws or preambles or specific limits and restrictions regarding the use of available technology.
Moving forward, this is the kind of mistake that would be avoided if each officiating crew has an on-site video official who can bridge the gap between what the on-field officials see and what the fans see via their TVs. If/when the league emerges from its self-imposed hibernation, acknowledges the problem, and embraces ideas for solving it, maybe the league will make meaningful steps in that direction.