The best play of the NFL season was wiped out by a penalty.
Hail Mary passes are called that for a reason. The miracle doesn’t happen very often. It looked like it did for the New Orleans Saints when tight end Jimmy Graham caught a touchdown on the last play to beat the San Francisco 49ers.
It was called back. Graham was flagged for offensive pass interference. The Saints lost in overtime.
Much like when Baltimore Ravens receiver Steve Smith was called for offensive pass interference earlier this season, the debate about the play surrounds whether it was a flop. San Francisco cornerback Perrish Cox went down like he had been shot.
“I’ve seen the video and there’s a slight push off and there’s a lot of acting,” Graham said on NBCSN’s “Pro Football Talk.” “You know it’s a great job on his part, kind of knowing the situation.
“Apparently I’m a lot stronger than I think I am. He went flying.”
Flop or not, NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino said on NFL Network that it was the right call.
“Jimmy Graham should have been flagged,” Blandino said. “You don’t see pass interference Hail Marys very often. But he puts both hands in the back of the defender, extends his arms and creates that separation to catch the pass.”
Blandino explains the call further in the video above.
Even if it was the right call, it would have been a lot more fun had it stood.
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