The Rams got to see the other side of a non-call in a big game. Unlike the Saints in the NFC Championship Game in 2018, the Rams ended up with the win, though.
The Rams got to Super Bowl LII when officials failed to flag Nickell Robey-Coleman for an obvious pass interference penalty.
On Sunday, officials missed a possible offensive pass interference penalty on Tee Higgins and an obvious facemask penalty on him on the same play. Higgins grabbed Jalen Ramsey‘s facemask and turned the cornerback’s head before catching a 75-yard touchdown pass from Joe Burrow on the first play from scrimmage in the third quarter.
Referee Ron Torbert was asked in a pool report afterward why a penalty wasn’t called.
“The crew did not see any contact that warranted pass interference,” Tolbert said. “It was a contested catch, and the crew didn’t see any contact that rose to the level of pass interference.”
Torbert said his crew also didn’t see a “grab and twist” that would have resulted in a facemask penalty.
“Our rule is that if there is a grab and twist and turn, there’s enough for a foul,” Torbert said. “If there’s just a rake across the facemask, where there’s not a twist and turn, even if there’s a grab, there is no foul. The officials did not see any contact that rose to the level of a foul for a 15-yard facemask.”
Replay, though, showed otherwise as Higgins clearly turned Ramsey’s head. Officials missed a foul that should have negated the touchdown. Instead, the Bengals took a 17-13 lead, requiring a Rams’ comeback to win it.