NEW ORLEANS — The City of New Orleans expected to wake up Monday with dreams of another Super Bowl; Instead, the cold morning brought the harsh reality that the New Orleans Saints 2018 season is over.

But as Saints fans work through the seven stages of grief, there is talk that the NFL could invoke something called "Rule 17" to change the outcome of the game.

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Specifically, fans are pointing to section two, article three called "Penalties for Unfair Acts" under the "Emergency Unfair Acts" rule in the NFL rulebook.  Wide receiver Michael Thomas tweeted about the rule early Monday morning:

Can't see the post? Click here.

The rule says NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has the power to enact:

“The reversal of a game’s result or the rescheduling of a game, either from the beginning or from the point at which the extraordinary act occurred.”

That makes it sound like the NFL could step in - if it wanted to - and force a rematch that Saints fans have been calling for.

But there's one problem. 

In essence, Rule 17 is not a way for NFL teams to protest a call. Article 2 goes on to say:

"The Commissioner will not apply authority in cases of complaints by clubs concerning judgmental errors or routine errors of omission by game officials."

And here is the tough pill for Saints fans to swallow:

“Games involving such complaints will continue to stand as completed.”

Rule 17 is really about natural disasters or calamity, or if a fan runs on the field and interferes.

Sorry Saints fans.

It sure sounds like it rules out a terrible call by a ref who saw everything BUT the game.

It also feels pretty final.

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