As halftime approached during Monday’s Saints-Colts game, Drew Brees found Tre’Quan Smith in the back of the end zone to break Peyton Manning’s record on the all-time NFL touchdown passing list.
Or so he thought.
Smith came out of the end zone to give Brees the ball marking his monumental 540th career touchdown as his teammates embraced him in celebration. A raucous Superdome crowd cheered the moment in the midst of a blowout.
But wait. There was a flag on the play.
Pass interference — offense. Officials ruled that Smith pushed off of Colts cornerback Quincy Wilson before making the catch and nullified the play.
The Saints would go on to settle for a field goal and enter halftime with Brees still tied with Manning.
Saints fans, who, of course have an adversarial relationship with NFL referees thanks to a bumpy history around pass interference calls, let the officials know what they thought of the call that wiped out Brees’ record-breaking throw.
A missed pass interference call cost the Saints a shot at the Super Bowl last year. And now a borderline-at-best call cost their beloved Brees a record-setting touchdown.
Only in New Orleans.
The good news is that it didn’t take Brees long to make up for the call. He found Josh Hill early in the third quarter to secure touchdown No. 540 and become the NFL’s passing touchdown king in a 34-7 win over the Colts.
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