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Owner: Saints 'unfairly deprived' of win

(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

METAIRIE, La. (AP) Saints owner Gayle Benson says she pledges to aggressively pursue changes in NFL policies that will promote more "fairness and integrity."

Benson says it's clear the Saints were "unfairly deprived" of a trip to the Super Bowl by the inaction of game officials "charged with creating a fair and equitable playing field."

The Saints owner is referring to officials' decision not to call a penalty on Rams defensive back Nickell Robey-Coleman for his early and high hit on Saints receiver Tommylee Lewis while quarterback Drew Brees' third-down pass was still in the air.

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McVay notes refs missed call on Saints

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) When the Los Angeles Rams' team bus rolled into their suburban training complex after a boisterous flight from New Orleans, the players and coaches were greeted by rowdy fans welcoming home the new NFC champions in the middle of the night.

The Rams and their fans lost some sleep Sunday night - but not about that missed pass interference on Nickell Robey-Coleman that could have altered the outcome of Los Angeles' 26-23 overtime victory in the NFC championship game.

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NFL wants to outlaw Super Bowl prop bets

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) Many Americans in places where sports betting is legal for the first time are beginning to make wagers on the Super Bowl, including some bets on the performances of individual athletes.

But if the National Football League had its way, bets on things like passing touchdowns for New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady or rushing yards for Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley would be restricted - or even outlawed as too risky and vulnerable to manipulation or cheating.

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Sportsbook credits bets over blown call

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) A sportsbook in New Jersey is offering betting credits for customers who bet on the New Orleans Saints due to the widespread belief that the team was victimized by a blown call by referees during its loss Sunday in the NFC championship game.

PointsBet initially said Monday it "will refund all wagers" on the spread and money-line bets on the Saints, who lost the game after officials failed to call a penalty on a Los Angeles Rams defender who leveled a New Orleans receiver long before the ball arrived.

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Miami must wait to seal deal with Flores

MIAMI (AP) While the 2018 NFL champion has yet to be crowned, much of the league is already looking ahead to the 2019 season, and so far the Miami Dolphins are in last place.

Las Vegas oddsmakers recently made the Dolphins a 300-1 choice to win the Super Bowl in Miami a year from now, by far the league's longest odds.

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Titans promote TEs assistant Smith to OC

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Mike Vrabel has stayed inside the Tennessee Titans' organization for his new offensive coordinator, promoting tight ends assistant Arthur Smith to the job vacated when Matt LaFleur left for the Green Bay Packers' head coaching job.

Vrabel announced the promotion Monday, saying he's excited for both Smith and the Titans to promote a "deserving coach."

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Pats-Rams to be past vs. future showdown

It began in 2002, back when the Rams were in St. Louis and the Patriots were a plucky underdog standing in the way of a potential dynasty.

So much has changed.

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4 games in London, 1 in Mexico in 2019

NEW YORK (AP) The NFL will play four games in London next season but did not say which would be at Tottenham's delayed new stadium and which would be at Wembley.

The league also said Monday one game will be in Mexico City - Kansas City vs. the Los Angeles Chargers at Azteca Stadium, which hosted games in 2016 and 2017. The Rams and Kansas City were to have played there Nov. 19 but the game was moved to Los Angeles because of poor field conditions.

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Saints feeling bitter, but optimistic

METAIRIE, La. (AP) Saints punter Thomas Morstead is having a tougher time taking the high road after a second consecutive season ended in stunned disappointment - this time because of officiating, rather than an opponent's late-game heroics.

Morstead drew headlines for his sportsmanship - not to mention an outpouring of financial support for his charitable endeavors - by volunteering to return to the field from the visitor's locker room in Minnesota for a required extra point try after the Vikings had ended the Saints' 2017-18 playoff run with a long, improbable touchdown as time expired.

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Chiefs enter offseason full of optimism

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) The Kansas City Chiefs came within a heartbeat of returning to the Super Bowl for the first time in 49 years, taking the greatest dynasty in NFL history to overtime in the AFC title game.

Instead, they are stuck with more heartache for an entire offseason.

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