Generally, complaints about the officials are reserved for games in which your favorite team winds up on the short end of the stick. However, there were a couple of incidents from yesterday's game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Kansas City Chiefs that were fairly ridiculous.
The first incident came on the Chiefs' first drive of the afternoon. Facing 3rd-and-12 at their own 2-yard line, the Chiefs dialed up a long pass play for Alex Smith. Vikings' defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd blew past Chiefs' guard Ben Grubbs at the snap of the ball, so much so that Grubbs wound up being called for holding on the play. Here's what it looked like at full speed, courtesy of Eric's Stock Market Report.
Now, it appears to be pretty clear that Grubbs' hold on Floyd occurred in the end zone, which should have led to two points for the Vikings and them getting the ball back following a free kick. However, referee Jerome Boger disagreed, saying that the hold started in the field of play and not in the end zone.
To show how ridiculous this call was, here are a couple of stills from Joel Thorman from over at Arrowhead Pride.
You can see here, Grubbs is almost completely in the end zone already, but still has one hand free. Frankly, it doesn't look like he's even engaged with Floyd at this point in the play.
Contrast that to about two steps later. . .
Here you can see Grubbs attempting to straight-up tackle Floyd when he knows he's been beaten. Grubbs is in the end zone. Floyd is in the end zone. The football is in the end zone. But, in Boger's eyes, that didn't constitute enough evidence to give the Vikings a safety in that situation.
Retired NFL official Mike Carey, who now works for CBS, agreed with the call.
The hold started in the field of play, so therefore is no safety. #KCvsMIN— Mike Carey (@MikeCareyRef94) October 18, 2015
As opposed to Mike Periera, the former NFL head of officiating who works for FOX.
After looking at it again, it's clearly a safety. #KCvsMIN— Mike Pereira (@MikePereira) October 18, 2015
To be honest, I'm not sure what Carey was watching, but it was apparently the same thing that the officials at TCF Bank Stadium were watching.
Yes, the Vikings wound up winning the football game, 16-10. However, that missed call could have made for an entirely different ball game. Like Eric said in the SMR, if the Chiefs had mounted a last-minute drive and defeated the Vikings 17-16, there would be a whole lot of angry Vikings fans this morning.
The second call was one that may have caused the hearts of Vikings fans to flutter a little bit. On the Chiefs' final offensive play, facing 4th-and-10 from their own 32-yard line, Smith attempted to connect with Albert Wilson to keep Kansas City's hopes alive. Wilson was well-covered by Xavier Rhodes on the play, and the pass fell incomplete. Rhodes' teammate, Anthony Barr, came bounding into the picture, waving his arms in the "incomplete motion," and was making his way towards Rhodes to celebrate the play that clinched a Minnesota victory.
That was, apparently, enough for another flag to fly for a "taunting" penalty on Barr. (Ignore the fact that Barr never once looked at the Chiefs' sideline and was basically focused on Rhodes the entire time.) Fortunately for the Vikings, the officials ruled that the foul occurred after the play when the ball was dead. That meant that, rather than giving the Chiefs the ball back near midfield after a 15-yard penalty, the Vikings got to keep the ball and kneel out the clock. . .after a 15-yard penalty.
For, essentially, celebrating a victory with a teammate.
Now, in their defense, Barr said after the game that an official told him that it was a blown call.
Linebacker Anthony Barr said a ref apologized to him for the taunting call, apparently conceding it was a mistake.— Derek Wetmore (@DerekWetmore) October 18, 2015
But, you know. . .after the fact. Apologies after the fact are relatively meaningless.
I don't know what, exactly, the National Football League does to hold their officials accountable when they make glaring mistakes. . .other than, you know, nothing. But Jerome Boger's crew should be looking at some sort of reprimand for the job they did yesterday, in this writer's opinion.