The New Orleans Saints are no strangers to talking about questionable officiating calls. Sunday's game continued the trend.
On the same night Drew Brees exited the game with a ligament injury in his right thumb, the Saints frustrations over officiating seemed to bubble over.
Tied 3-3 with the Los Angeles Rams in the second quarter, defensive end Trey Hendrickson pushed past the Rams defense and caused quarterback Jared Goff to fumble the ball. Cameron Jordan recovered the ball for the Saints and delivered it 87 yards to the end zone, seemingly giving the Saints a 9-3 lead.
Except the officials blew the whistle while the play was in motion, ruling it an incomplete pass.
"I'm trying my best not to see red," Jordan said during his postgame press conference.
Officials reviewed the play and correctly ruled it a fumble, but the damage was done when the whistles were blown. By calling an incomplete pass on the field, the ball was marked as a dead ball, which means Jordan's return did not count.
"Normally, you let the play happen," Jordan said. "Then Foot Locker, I mean, the referee usually tells you, 'Let the play happen and go back and review the play.'"
Jordan later clarified that he meant "no disrespect to Foot Locker."
"We tell our referees when in doubt to let it play out," NFL senior vice president of officiating Al Riveron told a pool reporter.
Despite the whistle being blown, players on the field continued as usual, attempting to chase Jordan down as he raced to the end zone.
"From my perspective, it was a fumble from the jump hence why there was no slow-down by anybody. Everybody was full go. Everybody understood what happened," Jordan said. "I shouldn't say everybody."
Jordan paused to collect his thoughts before continuing, "People are in their prime when they're in their prime. Sometimes they're not in their prime, but they were in their prime maybe a decade ago."
"People are in their prime when they're in their prime," he continued. "Sometimes they're not in their prime, but they were in their prime maybe a decade ago."
While the Saints were awarded the ball at their own 13-yard line, they did not score a touchdown and went on to lose 27-9.
"When we get poor officiating or we get an awful call like that, we can't control that," Saints head coach Sean Payton said. "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."