The Saints and Rams square off on Sunday, for the first time since one of the most controversial playoff games in league history — an outcome so significant that it prompted a major change in the rules.
The non-call of defensive pass interference against the Rams still resonates as the rematch looms. On Wednesday, Saints quarterback Drew Brees was asked how long it will take him to forget the non-call and the loss it caused.
“Still haven’t, never will,” Brees told reporters. “But when you say ‘forgotten about,’ you have to find a way to compartmentalize it to the point where you can move on in a positive way. I found a way to do that, but as far as just the events, you live and learn and sometimes things don’t go your way and you’ve got to find a way to come out better on the other side.”
In a visit last month with the #PFTPM podcast, Brees offered up an idea for getting over it.
“Go win it all,” he said with a laugh. “That’s the only way you get over something like that. That’ll always sting. More so just because you know that that team will never exist anymore. You lose a guy like Mark Ingram, Max Unger retires, you lose a few others. That team, even though you have a lot of the same guys on this year’s team, will no longer exist. You wanted it so bad for that team. We felt we had worked so hard to get to that point. We had earned that right. But it didn’t happen.”
The fact that it didn’t happen then against the Rams doesn’t matter to whether it happens now, however.
“I don’t look at it like we’ve got all this added fuel to the fire,” Brees told reporters on Wednesday. “There’s already fuel to the fire. We’re just going to go out there and play our game and let the chips fall where they may.”
The chips fell in a very bad way for the Saints last year, but the only relevance this game has to the NFC Championship is that the winner on Sunday will have a better chance of hosting the next one.