This obscure NFL rule would technically allow the Saints a rematch.
New Orleans Saints Michael Thomas believes NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell should undo the outcome of Sunday's NFC Championship loss to the Los Angeles Rams.
Thomas, still clearly upset with what appeared to be a blatant blown pass interference call late in the game and tweeted in the early hours of Monday morning, "Rule 17 Section 2 Article 3 @NFL."
The rule that Thomas is referencing is titled "Penalties for unfair acts."
"The Commissioner’s powers under this Section 2 include the imposition of monetary fines and draft-choice forfeitures, suspension of persons involved in unfair acts, and, if appropriate, the reversal of a game’s result or the rescheduling of a game, either from the beginning or from the point at which the extraordinary act occurred," according to the NFL Rulebook. "In the event of rescheduling a game, the Commissioner will be guided by the procedures specified in 17-1-5–11, above. In all cases, the Commissioner will conduct a full investigation, including the opportunity for hearings, use of game video, and any other procedure the Commissioner deems appropriate."
Thomas took his plea further by tweeting out, "Hey Roger pick up the phone."
Hey Roger pick up the phone.— Michael Thomas (@Cantguardmike) January 21, 2019
Thomas believes the Saints were victims of "unfair acts" after the Los Angeles Rams stunned New Orleans 26–23 in overtime after a late pass interference call against the Rams went uncalled. While the non-call was not reviewable, NFL senior vice president of officiating reportedly told Saints coach Sean Payton afterward that the penalty should have been issued. Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman himself admitted he committed the penalty and told reporters after the game he "got there too early" after getting beat.
In theory, Goodell could order the NFC Championship replayed, but the chances of Goodell taking this action are extremely unlikely, if not non-existent. The NFL has never used the rule to reverse a game's outcome and such a decision would be unprecedented in today's world of sports.
While Thomas may not get his wish, the NFL will likely be considering rule changes that would allow pass interference calls to be reviewable by instant replay this offseason.
The Rams will face the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LIII on Sunday, Feb. 3 at 6:30 p.m. ET.