There have been a couple of sources who, since Sunday, have devoted ink and/or bandwidth to complaining about how the Vikings were given credit for a safety this past Sunday due to the sheer stupidity of Packers' QB Aaron Rodgers. Among these sources are ProFootballTalk.com (who, by and large, is anti-Viking and always has been) and SI.com's Peter King.
While being upended in the end zone, Aaron Rodgers threw an underhanded pass that landed about three yards from Packers tight end Tory Humphrey, and ref Alberto Riveron called it an illegal forward pass. Only it wasn't, because quarterbacks often make underhanded scoop passes, which this was. After the game Riveron called it intentional grounding, and it wasn't that either, because Humphrey was so close. So this was a gift two points for the Vikes.
Awwww. . .did the Chosen Ones actually have a call in a big situation go against them for a change?
Seriously, everybody that's whining about this should really shut their collective latte-holes for a while. The Vikings have a long, proud history of getting screwed over by officials in the NFL, and in particular against the Green Bay Packers.
The biggest example of this came back in 2002 in a game at Lambeau Field between the 3-9 Vikings and the 9-3 Packers. Minnesota went into the fourth quarter against the Packers leading by nine points when they were playing for nothing more than pride. Then, this happened.
The NFL has acknowledged its officiating crew made at least nine mistakes during Sunday's Green Bay-Minnesota game, including a key pass interference call, two newspapers reported Wednesday.
The Vikings (3-10) lost the game 26-22 in Green Bay. Eight of the affected plays occurred in the fourth quarter, when the Packers (10-3) made up a nine-point deficit with two touchdowns. An interference call negated a Vikings' interception on the Packers' game-winning drive.
On Monday, the Vikings sent in 12 officials' calls the team disagreed with. In a response, league supervisors wrote that Vikings safety Corey Chavous should not have been called for pass interference against Donald Driver on a third-down pass that safety Jack Brewer intercepted.
"It doesn't matter what they say after the fact," Chavous said. "We lost the game."
Among other mistakes detailed in the document, league supervisors wrote that Packers receiver Robert Ferguson should have been ruled out of bounds at the 1-yard line rather than given a 40-yard touchdown reception with 10:48 left in the fourth quarter. The Vikings did not challenge the call via instant replay.
The NFL also wrote that Packers safety Antuan Edwards should have received an unnecessary roughness penalty for hitting Vikings receiver Chris Walsh, who had taken a knee to stop the next-to-last play of the game, and that Packers linebacker Nate Wayne also should have been penalized for blocking receiver Randy Moss in the back on the final play of the game.
Yep. . .eight calls IN ONE QUARTER OF FOOTBALL. Conversely, I'm pretty sure that the Packers haven't had eight referee calls go against them in the last 10 years of Packer/Viking football games combined. When he was there, you couldn't even look sideways at Brett Favre without a 15-yard roughing the passer flag coming out. . .Al Harris and Charles Woodson get away with more clutching and grabbing on every pass play than I did when I was still dating (and I had to pay for dinner and/or a movie first, on top of it). . .and the referees have pretty well gone out of their way to make sure their lips are firmly glued to the buttocks of the Packers and the city of Green Bay.
But, yes, because of one call that may or may not have been incorrect in Sunday's game (it wasn't), we now have a national tragedy on our hands. The Vikings actually beat the Green Bay Packers, and nobody's quite sure how to handle it.
Corey Chavous' words from nearly six years ago rang true that night. They also ring true right now. "It doesn't matter what they say after the fact. We lost the game." Minnesota won. Green Bay lost. The end.
Maybe the Packers should have actually taken a shot at tackling Adrian Peterson at some point on Sunday. Although I wouldn't be surprised to see Aaron Kampman and Nick Barnett on NFL Network's "Playbook" this weekend telling everyone how easy it is to stop Adrian Peterson. It worked so well when Greg Jennings told everyone how the Vikings' secondary could be exploited.
Maybe alleged uber-genius head coach Mike McCarthy should have constructed a game plan for his team that went beyond "show up at the stadium on Sunday." With the way the Packers performed, that's clearly all they thought they needed to do to secure a victory.
But, regardless of how many "maybes" there are, it's nice to see the shoe on the other foot for a change. Not only is the whining about the officials in this game by the media and the numerous Packer fans that have filled my inbox the height of irony, it's nothing shot of completely hilarious. In the spirit of what we've heard from so many Packer fans over the past few years, "Referees don't decide football games. Players do."
Man, it feels nice to say that.