Foot Locker vs. Saints

The Saints got jammed by the refs. Again.

Jim Rome
September 16, 2019 - 9:37 am
Drew Brees

USA Today

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The Saints got jammed by the refs. Again. 

But if you’re a Saints fan, the worst part about yesterday wasn’t that you got worked by the zebras for the third straight game. And it wasn’t that you lost 27-9 in the Revenge Game. It was that you lost Drew Brees.

For the game, and apparently much longer. Midway through the first quarter, Brees dropped back to pass and his hand hit Aaron Donald’s hand. 

More specifically, it was his thumb on Donald’s hand. And Brees spent most of the rest of the day on the sideline, in a baseball hat, with his hand wrapped. 

He is reportedly meeting with a hand specialist in LA, but you could tell from the way he talked after the game, this was different. 

"You're hitting your hands on stuff all the time — helmets and different things. You might get jammed thumbs, jammed fingers, different things where it swells up and what have you. But this felt like it was something a bit more significant that prevented me from gripping the ball."

If Drew Brees is saying that it felt like it was “something a bit more significant” that doesn’t sound good. At all. 

And it turns out that it is something a bit more significant. Like a torn ligament in the thumb on his throwing hand. He’s expected to have surgery today and will miss approximately six weeks. That sucks. It truly sucks. If that’s true, six weeks would take him to the bye week and potentially have him line to return Week 10 against the Falcons.

But that means that the Saints will most likely be rolling with Teddy Bridgewater for games against Seattle, Dallas, Tampa Bay, Jacksonville, Chicago, and Arizona. There are some nasty defenses in there. Any other team, any other backup, and any other coach, and I’d say they are in serious, serious trouble. But there’s a reason why they wanted to keep Bridgewater and why he wanted to stay. And if anyone can scheme and coach his guy up, it’s Sean Payton.

 So you lose your hall of fame q.b. And that’s a bad, bad day. After that, everything else is window dressing. The rest of the game that was just adding insult on top of the injury. But I’ll give you this, Saints fan, not just any insult. The kind of insult that only comes where you get screwed by the refs. Yet again… and that’s exactly what happened. 

Roll it.

That’s three straight games – the NFC championship game with the no-call on the pass interference, I mean second-degree assault…, last week with the clock at the end of the first half, and yesterday with whatever the hell that was.

At some point, Sean Payton is going to completely explode on a ref and I’m not going to blame him when he does. He was taking a high road after the game, although he did manage to make his point: “When we get poor officiating or we get an awful call like that, we can’t control that. Our focus this week is going to be on cleaning up the penalties and making sure we got the right guys on the field, too.

Cam Jordan made his point too. 

Did you catch that Footlocker blast in there? Perfectly delivered, Cam. 

And then he chased it brilliantly by tweeting: No disrespect to footlocker.

Of course not. Those guys and gals at Footlocker do their jobs. You ask for an 11, you get an 11. They don’t come back with a size seven in a different shoe. But the Saints would tell you the refs don’t do their jobs when it comes to Saints games. And how can you argue with them at this point?

Look, I don’t think the refs are targeting the Saints. I don’t think they’re out to screw New Orleans. But I can’t blame a Saints fan for thinking that. 

And if you want some more salt for the wound, Saints fans, here’s the explanation from NFL head of officiating Al Riveron:

“The ruling on the field was that of an incomplete pass outside of two minutes, challenged by New Orleans. Like every other replay, we look at every reviewable aspect of the play. In this situation, after looking at all of the angles afforded to us, it was clear and obvious that it was a fumble.  However, by rule, we can give it to the defense if there’s a clear recovery. Since we blew the whistle for an incomplete pass, by rule, we cannot give them the advance. So, after we looked at it and we changed the ruling on the field, we gave the ball to the defense on the 13-yard line, and we do not charge them with a timeout.”

And I know what you’re thinking, Saints fan, why don’t the referees just let the play go and then come back later and rule it an incomplete pass if they have to. According to Riveron, that’s what they’re told: “we tell our referees, when in doubt, to let it play out. If it is an incomplete pass, we can always come back and make it an incomplete pass. In this situation as it occurs here, the most we can do is give the ball to the defense, but we cannot, by rule, give them the advance. All we can do is give them the ball at the spot of the clear recovery.”

So the referees are told to let the play go, and if they have to come back and rule it an incomplete pass, they can do that. Except they didn’t let the play go and it came back to hurt the Saints. Again.

So the good news is, you’re right, Saints fans. The refs should let the play go. The bad news is they didn’t do it and because they didn’t do it, you didn’t get a touchdown.  You didn’t get a touchdown, but you did get screwed. Again. 

To recap: Drew Brees hand injury, requiring surgery…today. Jam job from the refs, and you lost the revenge game. And not just lost the game to the Rams, but had to watch Cooper Kupp drop one of the best runs after a catch you’ll ever see.

That’s some man’s game bleep right there by Kupp and a straight up miserable day for Saints fans.

And because referees won’t let anyone have anything nice, they ruled that Kupp was down on the one yard line. 

I’m not really sure what kind of conclusions you can draw about the Rams so far this season. They didn’t exactly dominate a Panthers team in Week 1 who looked terrible in Week 2. And the offense took a while to get rolling yesterday. And they suffered a bunch of injuries. 

But after watching that play, you can safely say Cooper Kupp’s ACL is doing just fine. That was a badass run. And the Rams are 2-0. Neither was pretty, but both were wins. And right now, that’s all that matters. The Saints, meanwhile just lost the game, their hall of fame quarterback and the refs continue to jam them at every single turn. I’d love to tell you it’s going to be all right Saints’ fan, but I don’t know that it will.