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NFL commissioner breaks silence on missed call in Saints-Rams game

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Wednesday the league may consider rule changes and employing the use of "instant replay" technology in the wake of a missed call at the end of the Saints-Rams game. Goodell said adding an extra official isn't the answer to all the league's issues.

It's "one more human who will make mistakes like the rest of us," he said during his annual pre-Super Bowl news conference. He addressed the frustration Saints fans may be experiencing.

"Whenever officiating is part of any kind of discussion postgame, it's never a good outcome for us. We know that, our clubs know that, our officials know that," he said. "But we also know our officials are humans. We also know that they are officiating a game that moves very quickly and have to make snap decisions under difficult circumstances and they are not going to get it right every time."

During the Saints-Rams NFC championship game Jan. 20, referees appeared to miss a pass interference penalty that, if called, would have given the Saints a shot at the Super Bowl. The Rams went on to beat the Saints in overtime, 26-23.

The Reuters news agency reported that NFL coaches are allowed to question a referee's decision, but aren't allowed on either penalties or uncalled penalties. Goodell said the NFL has worked hard to bring technology in to assist with officiating, but stressed it wasn't going to solve all the problems.

"We will look again at instant replay. There have been a variety of proposals over the last frankly 15 to 20 years of: should replay be expanded. It does not cover judgment calls ... this was a judgment call," Goodell said.

Goodell said league decision-makers have long been opposed to having flags thrown by a replay official or someone in New York, and changing that dynamic would be a big obstacle to overcome.

"Are there solutions for this?" Goodell said. "That's what they committee needs to focus on: What are the solutions and what are the unintended consequences?"

The commissioner said he never heeded the call from some Saints of stepping in and reversing the result of the NFC championship game.

"Absolutely not," Goodell said.

CBS will air Super Bowl LIII this Sunday, Feb. 3, from Georgia's Mercedes-Benz Stadium. It will be the New England Patriots' third consecutive time appearing in the championship game. Pats quarterback Tom Brady has led the team to win five Super Bowls, including beating the Rams, who were then in St. Louis, in 2002. The Rams haven't won a Super Bowl since 2000.

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