METAIRIE, La. (AP) — Saints owner Gayle Benson says she pledges to aggressively pursue changes in NFL policies that will promote more “fairness and integrity.”
Benson says it’s clear the Saints were “unfairly deprived” of a trip to the Super Bowl by the inaction of game officials “charged with creating a fair and equitable playing field.”
The Saints owner is referring to officials’ decision not to call a penalty on Rams defensive back Nickell Robey-Coleman for his early and high hit on Saints receiver Tommylee Lewis while quarterback Drew Brees’ third-down pass was still in the air.
A penalty would have given the Saints a first down inside the Rams 10-yard line with about 1:45 left and allowed New Orleans to run out most of the remaining time left before trying a go-ahead field goal.
Instead, about 1:41 remained when the Saints took their last lead, and the Rams came back to win in overtime.
Benson has been the sole owner of the Saints since her husband, Tom, died last March.