The Minnesota Vikings were swindled out of a few missed calls at Buffalo on Sunday, and head coach Kevin O’Connell knows it.
The Bills lost anyway, falling to the Vikings 33-30 in a game worthy of Academy award nomination.
Still, the referees blew two calls late, one involving a would-incomplete pass to Gabriel Davis and another with Buffalo inserting too many men on the field.
The one highlighted by O’Connell was on 1st and Goal late in the game. The Bills had 12 men on the field to defend Minnesota, and nobody — including the referees, which is, you know, their job — realized it.
The play resulted in a three-yard loss by Dalvin Cook, mainly because Buffalo had an extra defender to thwart the Vikings attack. This week, O’Connell comically chided the blown call, “Obviously, we didn’t get to the point where we could flat-out win the game in overtime. It tends to happen when the defense is allowed to play with 12 men at times.”
The Vikings later won the game but could’ve theoretically put the game away sooner if the Bills had the legal amount of men on the field.
“We’ll continue to work through a good play for 1st and Goal at the two with 12 guys on the field — I’m working on that right now,” O’Connell added.
Here’s the video:
With the Gabriel Davis bobble, faux completion, and missed call, well, the NFL actually acknowledged that gaffe.
Here’s the play that was a completion, not reviewed, a catalyst to the Bills game-extending field goal.
The NFL should’ve reviewed the catch in New York, evaluated for the obvious incompletion, and overturned it. Like 12 defenders on the field, the game could’ve changed at that moment.
But no cigar.
Minnesota won, nevertheless, downing the Bills at their home — a Buffalo squad that, before and after losing to the Vikings, is the NFL’s Super Bowl frontrunner, according to sportsbooks.
The Vikings host the Cowboys this weekend and are one-point underdogs.
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).