In the aftermath of Joe Webb’s blatant facemask in last week’s game against Detroit that wasn’t flagged, it got me thinking about some of the other blatantly missed calls against the Vikings over the years. We complain a lot about bad calls, and it seems like the Vikings get more than their fair share of them. So, after reflecting, and doing a little internet sleuthing, here are what I would call your top 5 Worst Calls in Viking’s history.
#5. Week 8, 2006 Vikings vs Patriots. In the 3rd quarter Brad Johnson connects with TE Jermaine Wiggins for a first down inside the Patriot 35-yard line. On the catch, Wiggins has full possession, takes three full steps, and turns to head down field. As Wiggins is going down, the ball is stripped by the defense and rolls out of bounds. The correct call SHOULD have been first down at the spot where the ball rolled out of bounds. However, in the fantasy land where some NFL officials reside, the pass is ruled incomplete. Minnesota challenges, yet Referee Larry Nemmers upholds the original call. Terrible, terrible call.
#4. Week 14, 2002 Vikings vs Packers in Lambeau. LOTS of bad calls here. Here’s a short list:
-Kleinsasser *tackled* in the 4th quarter on a 3rd down pass, but no pass interference flag was thrown
-Packers called for illegal holding during a punt return, but after conference, the official picked up the flag and ruled no foul. Even the announcers were befuddled on this one.
-Questionable pass intereference call on Corey Chavous that negated an interception during the Packers game winning drive.
-With 11 seconds left, Culpepper connects to Walsh in the middle of the field with no one around. Walsh kneels down to end the play, and a Packer came in late to “tackle” him. He should have been ruled down and not “hit”.
-NFL Acknowledged at least 9 officiating mistakes in the game.
#3. Week 7, 2010 Vikings vs Packers in Lambeau. Visanthe Shiancoe’s TD catch was ruled incomplete, challenged and ruling on the field was upheld. Head of officiated privately admitted to Childress after the game it was a bad call.
#2. 2009 NFC Championship game. Bobby McCray’s low shot on Favre should have been a roughing the passer penalty. Result? No call. Mike Pereira admits later that it was a mistake by the officials and there should have been an illegal hit on the QB, thus nullifying one of Favre’s interceptions. The flag would have setup the Vikings in the redzone.
#1. December 12th, 1975. Vikings vs Cowboys in a divisional playoff game. The Play? Known as “The Hail Mary”. With 1:51 left in the game, Fran Tarkenton led the offense to a touchdown to go ahead 14-10. Dallas then reached the 50 yardline, but with only 36 seconds left, Staubach lined up once again in shotgun formation. He took the snap, pump-faked left, then turned to his right and fired the ball deep downfield to WR Drew Pearson. As the ball came down, Pearson pushed off of CB Nate Wright and caught the pass, trapping it against his hip at the 5-yard line. Drew Pearson later admitted to former Viking RB Chuck Foreman (who played in the game) that he did indeed intentionally commit offensive pass interference against Nate Wright. No flag was thrown.