Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph may have caught the game-winning touchdown to beat the New Orleans Saints, but did he commit pass interference?
The New Orleans Saints have their season end in heartbreaking fashion for the third year in a row. New Orleans could not keep the Minnesota Vikings offense out of the end zone on the opening drive of overtime, as Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins was able to find tight end Kyle Rudolph on a fade route for the game-winning touchdown. But did he commit pass interference on the play?
On this week’s episode of Stacking the Box, FanSided‘s Matt Verderame and Mark Carman, along with former NFL offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz, reflect on the final moments of the NFC Wild Card game between the Vikings and the Saints and decide if Rudolph should have been flagged for a push-off in the end zone (48:44).
Neither Schwartz or Verderame believe Rudolph should have been flagged for a push-off on his game-winning touchdown vs. New Orleans. Verderame would say that the Saints should have known a fade pattern was coming from Rudolph, given on how he lined up pre-snap. Once he broke away from the ball, what other route was he going to be running anyway?
The play that set up this goal-line scenario for the Vikings was a huge deep ball conversion from Cousins to wide receiver Adam Thielen. Had Thielen not come down with the football, we might be telling a different story about how this game ended. Throwing a flag on Rudolph might have been a bit excessive, but it might have kept the Vikings out of the end zone on that opening drive.
Ultimately, the Saints had their shot to keep Cousins and the Vikings from driving the length of the field to pay dirt and couldn’t get it done defensively. Minnesota had outplayed the Saints for the better part of the game. New Orleans was lucky to have forced this game to overtime, given the way the Vikings played throughout most of the contest.
Unfortunately, this is another postseason the Saints won’t be getting back. Quarterback Drew Brees isn’t getting any younger and we have to wonder if the Saints’ Super Bowl window has come to a close. They have a great roster and should win the NFC South again next year, but that doesn’t make this loss to the Vikings any less painful.
Here are a few other topics discussed on this week’s episode of Stacking the Box:
- Saints shockingly go home on controversial call (4:24)
- Should the NFL change overtime rules? (8:39)
- Does Tom Brady return to the Patriots? (25:19)
- What are we looking forward to this week? (57:10)
All this and more!