After Further Review, the Vikings got Screwed

One of the worst moments in NFL officiating history took place Sunday afternoon at the end of the first half of the Vikings-Dolphins game. It’s understandable for a referee to make a mistake during a play. It happens. It’s a game of inches and humans aren’t perfect. But when you have multiple angles to review a critical scoring play and you completely blow it, that’s when I have an issue.

The Vikings were on a momentum-building scoring drive late in the second quarter and were set to get the ball back to start the second half. Teddy Bridgewater lofted a beautiful pass to tight end Chase Ford who hauled it in near the sideline and made his way into the end zone. In real-time it looked as if he caught the ball, made a couple steps into the end zone and touched the pylon on his way. No surprise, they called him down at the one yard line. Luckily, the Vikings had replay review to save them from the officials, who seemed to be Dolphins fans in the first half. After seeing a couple of angles it was clearly an excellent touchdown for Ford. So chalk up a 21-7 lead at the half for the Vikings, right?



Trusty Mike Pereira, rules analyst for Fox Sports, was brought in during the review and explained why he would reverse the call and give the Vikings six points. After the blind officials announced the call would stand, Pereira posted a couple tweets on the issue.

That left 8 seconds on the clock for the Vikings to try to punch it in, a task at which they were unsuccessful. They settled for 3 points instead of 7. My first thought, other than one I probably shouldn’t write on here about the officials, was we’d better not lose this game by 4 points or less.

All in all, it wasn’t the only reason the Vikings lost the game, but it was a huge play that came back to haunt them. In a 37-35 loss for Minnesota, those 4 points they earned and weren’t given would sure be nice, wouldn’t they?

Dec 21, 2014; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer reacts from the sideline during the second half against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium. The Dolphins won 37-35. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports