With the game tied at 20-20 late in the third quarter, the Packers faced a third-and-2 play from the Saints 18-yard line. Aaron Rodgers faked a handoff, rolled left and land launched a sideline pass to tight end Marcedes Lewis, who was draped by Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins.
Lewis separated from Jenkins, leapt and adjusted midair to make a circus catch before falling backward into the end zone for a touchdown to take a 27-20 lead.
Did Lewis push off?
The play drew an immediate call of offensive pass interference from NBC’s Cris Collinsworth, arguing that Lewis pushed off. Jenkins appeared to concur. As did NBC rules analyst Terry McAulay.
Here’s another look.
There’s no arm extension from Lewis, but there was clear separation after he placed his right hand on Jenkins. If there’s pass interference there, it’s borderline.
But with the game on during prime time and involving the Saints, any close call is going to be magnified. Especially when it doesn’t go New Orleans’ way.
An interference call would have resulted in a third-and-12 play from the 28-yard line instead of six points for the Packers, a dramatic difference in a tight game in the second half.
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