1. The no-call on the fake punt
Nearly every time the New Orleans Saints are called for a penalty it is met with outrage and disgust for the officials, even if the call was perfectly correct. This is the byproduct of the infamous no-call pass interference in the NFC Championship Game.
There were some penalties in this game that swung the game that Saint fans were not happy with. Most notably, an unnecessary roughness call on a third-down incompletion that kept the drive alive for the 49ers late in the game, which lead to the go-ahead touchdown.
I agree with that call and I don’t think the fans should give the refs backlash about that one. However, the refs had an egregious missed call against the Saints that very well would have shifted the tide of the game.
You know what happened, the Saints faked the punt, Taysom Hill dropped back to pass and threw a beauty to Tre’Quan Smith down the sideline. We never learned whether or not he could catch it as he was held all the way down the field.
It couldn’t be challenged as it would not have been overturned for pass interference, as it was not pass interference, it was holding. You cannot challenge defensive holding.
If the Saints would have gotten that call they would have taken over in field goal range down by two and the 49ers would not have started the ensuing drive at midfield.