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The Call That Broke The Zebra’s Backs (Brought The Zebras Back?)

I can’t remember the last time there has been a more dramatic weekend in the NFL. Not even the Superbowl brings as much drama as there was throughout the day yesterday. And then to cap it off the way it was tonight? In-sane.

I had another post planned for tonight. I was going to dive into the deep end of some interesting Vikings stats and rankings through the third game (still may do that later). But honestly, how could I possibly talk about anything else after that?

There’s no doubt about it, the Seahawks played their tails off in that game. I was drooling at the prospect of having a secondary that even closely resembled the way they were shutting down the Packer’s receivers in the first half. The Seahawks played with intensity and were far more physical than the Packers. While they could never really seem to get going on offense, they were able to maintain a lead throughout most of the game because of the havoc they caused for last year’s NFL MVP (the man we all love to hate), Aaron Rodgers. It could be argued that, despite the blown call at the end of the game, the Seahawks were the better team tonight. And it sucks that no one will be talking about that.

Which game’s officiating was worse?

Before we were all talking about tonight’s officiating catastrophe, a lot of the criticism this weekend for the replacement officials stemmed from our very own Vikings game against the 49ers. (Which was amazing and incredible and beautiful and the best thing ever.) I would argue that the circus of officiating mistakes was worse in the Vikings game than tonight’s match-up between the Packers and the Seahawks. The difference? Our mistakes didn’t directly change the outcome of the game. As soon as the Packers and Seahawks were wrestling for that ball in the endzone, I knew it was about to hit the fan. That awkward moment where both referees ran up and kind of just stared at the two on the ground for a few seconds was intense. I can guarantee Roger Goodell was sitting somewhere just begging the ref through his TV, “Please don’t put your hands up! Please don’t put your hands up!… Noooooo!”

Had the 49ers came back and somehow won the game on Sunday after that series of blundered calls, the discussion everyone is having now would have happened 24 hours ago. Everyone knew this was bound to happen at some point.

This isn’t the first time blown calls have determined the outcome of a Packers game.

I know we’d all love to believe that these types of mistakes are exclusive to replacement refs. I’m here to remind you they are not. Let me take you back in time. In 2010, the Vikings lost to the Packers by four points at Lambeau Field. It was quite the controversial game because there were some very, very questionable touchdown calls that majorly affected the final score. Shortly after the game was over, the NFL admitted that the refs had blown two touchdown calls. One of them was a pass from Rodgers to tight end Andrew Quarless. The touchdown call should have been ruled an incompletion as Quarless bobbled the ball as he fell out of bounds. On another play, the Vikings tight end, Visanthe Shiancoe, caught a pass from Brett Favre that was ruled a touchdown on the field. Even though Shiancoe clearly maintained control of the ball, the ruling was overturned.

Now, I’m not trying to lessen the severity of the mistakes the officials made tonight, I’m just pointing out that these things aren’t new. Sometimes they cost you a game, sometimes they win you one… Regardless, I think it’s safe to say that it always sucks when games are decided by the officials.

Now will the NFL bring the real officials back?!

I’m not so sure… Immediately after tonight’s events I was convinced that this would be the straw that broke the camel’s back. The uproar from fans, the media, players, coaches would just be too much for the NFL to ignore at this point. But then I got to thinking… I wonder what tonight’s games ratings were? I wonder how many people are now currently reading about football when they may have not after your normal Monday Night Football game? Think of how many people are tweeting about the NFL right now, how many news stations are talking about the NFL and how many hours over the next week will be spent talking about nothing other than the NFL. NFL NFL NFL. Other sports will hardly exist the remainder of the week. Sure, the things being said probably won’t be good… But still, they say any publicity is good publicity.

You think people won’t be back to watch next week? Are you going to purposely miss the Vikings game against the Lions this Sunday? I bet you there are more people watching next week.

We love drama. And tonight’s game coupled with last night’s game between the Ravens and the Patriots are some of the most dramatic games in my recent memory. (That’s not including Vikings games, of course. Those are always dramatic.)

The NFL could very well move very quickly to save face and get a deal done with the referees union. They could understand that a lot of people are upset with what these replacement officials have done to the season so far. Or, they could say, “Holy crap. Our ratings have never been higher. Screw the integrity of the game,” and keep things as-is.

Your thoughts?

Personally, through my purple glasses, this shouldn’t even be an issue – it was obviously a beautiful touchdown catch by Golden Tate… Seriously, though – I am legitimately concerned about going up against the Seahawks defense. And is it too early to start thinking that the Vikings might be the best team in the NFC North right now? Our fellow divisional rivals have not looked as good as expected this season. (Sorry, I just finished a huge glass of purple kool-aid.)

What do you guys think? Does tonight’s game the screw-up that gets the regular referees back on the field? If so, how long do you think it will take? What are some other majorly botched calls that changed the winner of a game throughout NFL history?

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Brett Anderson

Brett Anderson (Founder) is a passionate Viking fan hailing from Sin City, Las Vegas. He can remember, as a child, scraping his knee on the playground and his friends being completely shocked by the purple blood trickling from the wound. When Brett isn't scouring the Internet for some semblance of Vikings news, he enjoys blindly putting money on them to beat whoever their opponent may be, and daydreams about being their next Tight End. Brett graduated from UNLV with a degree in Architecture and specializes in web/graphic design; he hopes to provide this site’s visitors with the best Vikings experience on the net.

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  1. Freds fully endorses the replacement refs, they are great men, have eagle eyes, know the rules and should be left alone… as long as they continue to produce results for the Packers as we saw last night.

    Thank you.

    1. My thoughts exactly Freds. I LOVE those guys!

      Seriously though, how in hell did the booth guys also miss that call? Those guys in the replay booth are NOT replacement personel. They’re hired by the NFL and should have overturned that TD.
      (Not that I’m complaining. Any call that results in a Packer loss is a GREAT call)

  2. You make a good point about the regular refs blowing that 2010 game, and I have to say that even in games that don’t involve the Vikings I’ve thought the Packers have been the beneficiaries of a lot of controversial calls over the years. The thing that I’ve always said whether its regular or replacement officials is part of the players jobs is to make sure they don’t create a situation that puts the game in the hands of the officials. On that final play, if the Packer player who tried to intercept the ball either spiked it into the turf in front of him or knocked it out of the back of the end zone instead of trying to pad his INT stats for the year, we wouldn’t be having this conversation right now. My biggest problems with the replacement officials has been the total inconsistency they have when making calls, especially pass interference which took center stage in last nights game. The play that Shields made on Rice looked testbook clean to me and they throw a flag…then on the first play of that last drive for Seattle Woodson mugged the TE over the middle as the ball was coming and no flag was thrown…it should probably be noted that consistency is also my biggest issue with the regular officials though…so I guess if your an NFL player my advice is do your job to make sure the officials can’t screw you.

  3. There have been some terrible calls in the past. Hassleback tackling a DB for the Steelers in the Superbowl a few years back and getting flagged for an illegal block below the waist on the tackle maybe the worst call I’ve ever seen. Drew Pearson not getting called for offensive pass interference for pushing Nate Wright is the worst non-call I’ve ever seen (I will always hate the cowboys (not capitalized intentionally)). Refs are always going to make calls that half the people hate and half will love (ask a Seahawk fan if they loved that call last night), that’s the nature of the position. My biggest complaint with the refs appears to be their lack of knowledge of the rules. Granting extra timeouts, leading to extra challenges, what’s reviewable (12 men on the field in the Denver game), that is reviewable by the way, but the refs said no, the messing with the flow of the game, a local paper said it added about 25 minutes to the game for Harbaugh to use 2 challenges and an extra time out. None of which should have been allowed. To agree with and argue the point of “don’t leave it in the hands of the officials”; in some of these instances the officials lack of knowledge of the rules is out of the hands of the players and coaches and there’s nothing they can do until after the game and the league issues an apologize.
    I don’t remember where I read it, but some players are now saying that player safety is becoming an issue with some of the refs being to lax or not knowing what they’re looking at. The Raiders game Heyward-Bey gets hit in a helmet to helmet hit and is hospitalized and there’s no flag; Jennings getting hit running down the field last night was a cheap shot, that until it became a wrestling match in the endzone, there was no flag. there will always be controversial calls, relacements or not, but cheap/dirty players taking advantage of the situation may be a problem more so than if the regular refs were in there. This concerns me more than the calls being made or missed. Coaches bullying the refs, which is a whole other can of beans, looks to be an issue as well. I would like to see the regulars back, but given Goodell’s track record as a dictator, I don’t see it happening until Goodell is appeased.
    Another terrible call I just thought of happened, I don’t know 15 years ago, in the final week of the season (I think). The Jets Testaverde does a QB sneak on 4th down from the one or two yard line against the the Lions. It’s called a TD, but replay shows the ball never comes close. This was at a time when there was no review option for coaches. The league later said the official confused Testaverde’s (white) helmet with the (brown) ball; sorry. It ended up eliminating the Lions from the playoffs and getting the Jets into the playoffs, so it affected 4 teams playoff hopes. This, as well as other calls, led to the reintroduction of instant replay.

  4. Hey for the cowboy haters, I heard about this website on the local news, here in Fargo today. It is pretty funny. I am not going to attach a link, if you want to find out about
    site you can on your own.

  5. The issue with the replacement refs is that they are unfamiliar with the “ways” of NFL football, and are being intimidated due to a lack of confidence in what they are doing. The guy in the Vikes game got bullied into granting those reviews rather than doing what was right. And like someone said, coaches are using this to get things to go in their direction, a la Harbaugh. Last night, a regular NFL referee would not have considered that to be simultaneous possession, because thats not simultaneous possession in the ways of the NFL. Now, whether a regular would have called interference is another issue altogether.

  6. Since Sunday’s game, two of Leslie’s decisions have been questioned, and, guess what, I have opinions on both. I know in advance that both will be criticized, but I’ve had plenty of that in my coaching life.
    1. Was it correct to go for it on 4th and 1 in the first quarter? In my book, this is not a black and white decision. Sometimes its a gut call. Perhaps there had been coversation during the week where it was stressed that “we are going to play to win rather than play not to lose.” and Leslie felt this was the time to do just that. Sometimes it comes down to how confident you are in the play you’re going to use, and other times its a chance to send your team a message. There was no right or wrong call, it was Leslie’s call.
    2. Should Gerhart have been left in the game after the second fumble? Absolutely. If you’re not going to put him back out there, then you better plan to cut him Monday morning. This isn’t a relief pitcher who just can’t find his curveball today. This is part of why he’s on the team, and he was sent back out there to do one of the jobs that is his. You would do way more damage to the man to fail him, rather than put him out there as a statement of confidence and expectation. Today, he doesn’t have anyone to blame but himself, and knows the answer is for him to correct this thing and do his job – no one else is going to do it. His coach didn’t fail him, and his teammates picked him up. I really think Leslie sent the right message there. Rebuilding means establishing cultures and a way of doing things. This was an example.

        1. Well, you gotta cut me some slack on this one…I mean, who would have guessed that when you’re trying to grind out the clock, giving the rock to tri-fumbler guy is the smart, and game-winning strategy.

          It’s a LITTLE counterintuitive, so that’s why I was initially confused. Now that I realize handing off to butterfingers is the wise choice, I’ll back your call from here forward.

          1. You gotta cut Toby some slack… That was a freak situation… That whole fourth quarter was just odd. The guy only fumbled once last year. I don’t think he has a real problem at turning over the ball.

            1. Agreed Brett. Did you see how he was agonizing after that last one? He knew the level of incompetence he had shown. I think he’ll be Ok.

            2. I’ll admit I’m biased. I didn’t like the Gerhart pick from the get go, and he hasn’t done much to change my mind. Fumbling on 3 out of 4 carries certainly doesn’t make a strong case.

              I think Asiata shows more promise as a #2 punch, and I wish they would explore that option. .

              1. …It was one game. Against the best defense in the NFL. And we won. By a good margin.

                1. Yes. And it was 4 carries. When your only job was to NOT fumble. 1st down would be a luxury, but the key was to not fumble.

                  I guess for me, when I guy drops it twice, he may be having an off day, and maybe it’s best not to push your luck and give it to him again.

                  After the first drop, yeah, I’d have put him back in. After number two, I don’t care if it was AD or Harvin, I would’ve given it to someone else.

                  That’s just me.

                  1. Gerhart had 8 carries. Only one of them should have been lost. The first one he dropped the ball after the whistle blew in my opinion. Not to mention the play shouldn’t have been challenged due to the 49ers lack of timeouts.

                    1. Well, when you put it that way, 3 fumbles on 8 carries is completely acceptable.

                      LOL…you two are killing me…did you guys invest in Gerhart jersies and don’t want to see your investment squandered?

          2. Now… don’t go bein’so hard on yourself there Tomb. (John Wayne imitation) It’s a long season we got ahead of us here pilgrim and, well, I’ll just bet you before it’s all over, why you’re gonna be right one of these here times. Now get back to that keyboard and do yourself some thinkin’, just like yore ma taught ya.

            1. OK, we’ll move on…let’s start a wager for next week’s game.

              Over/under on Toby’s fumbles vs. Lions.

              Shall we start the bidding at 2, or 3?

              Now, you may be tempted to pick opt for 2. HOWEVER, if we choose 3 as our over/under, Toby can still fumble twice, and we can celebrate the sub-mediocrity as a rousing success. Tempting, no?

    1. I was all for going for it in that situation. It was against a very good team, a FG would’ve been…ehh. Great throw from Ponder. It was a great call cause it worked…if it had failed, I still liked it. I was sayin’ run it again tho…

      I see your point here Coach…but I gotta think if pulling a guy after two fumbles is going to hurt his feelings so much that he gets damaged as a player…then I’m not sure I want him on my team. And where do you draw the line? Say we recovered that last fumble…you give it to him again? 4th…5th time? I understand showing confidence in your guys, that’s a smart move. But winning the game is most important, after that 2nd one he’s on the sideline.

      1. I’m not sayin’ that decision would be wrong, cart. Mike Ditka would probably do the same, as well as a number of other coaches. I’m just saying what I think Leslie was thinking and why Gerhart was sent back out. I thought the announcer over-reacted (as did Freds and Tomb) so I offered my view. It was a pretty amazing series of events, I must admit.

        1. I blame the coaching staff, not Gerhart. That should be clear. Something was obviously, well, askew with him.

          Sitting him on the bench and let him talk it out with the RB coach would’ve been my angle, and let someone else secure the victory.

          1. “I blame the coaching staff, not Gerhart.”

            Excuse me? Gerhart’s fumbles were the fault of the coach, not the player? Well, there’s one for the second guessing hall of fame. Poor Toby, none of the coaches TOLD him not to fumble, so he did. If the stupid coach had not put him in the game, then he wouldn’t have fumbled. I’m sure the guys on the sideline consoled him by saying, “Don’t worry, Toby, its not your fault. We all blame that stupid Frazier for putting you in the game. He should have known you would fumble three times in the 4th quarter.”

            1. …and you accuse ME of overreacting.

              He wouldn’t have had the opportunity to fumble a 3rd time, had not the coaching staff threw him back in.

              When a guy is in a slump, you do NOT magnify said slump. That’s what coaches are paid to do.

              I think I’ve been clear that I am no fatface Gerhart fan…and he clearly sucked it up, but he shouldn’t have been allowed to have the opportunity to suck a third time.

              Let’s play coaching staff: “Gee, he fumbled twice on two carries, what’s the odds he’d do it again.”

              Me? I’d say pretty damn good. 2 for 2 on fumbles is kind of trend worthy of attention, no?

    2. Buds,

      “1. Was it correct to go for it on 4th and 1 in the first quarter? In my book, this is not a black and white decision….There was no right or wrong call, it was Leslie’s call.”

      This one of your greatest, no answer answers. Show some sack Buds, this sort of logic could be used on every question ever asked.

      It reminds your old pal Fragile about the first time your son asked for the car keys after getting his driver’s permit:

      “….uhhh Dad, can I drive the 1938 Studebaker on Saturday? I have a date with Bonnie Sue to take her to the barn dance down at old farmer Smith’s.”

      Buds : “In my book, this is not a black and white decision….There is no right or wrong call, it is your mom’s call.”

      Come on Buds, get rid of the skirt and make a decision.

      1. Do you actually believe there is a chapter in the “book” on that call, Freds? Its a sense, a feeling, a purpose, a statement or any number of other factors. Leslie had his reasons Im sure. We are all welcome to second guess, but Im not in agreement with anyone who declares it right or wrong. It was the choice of the man in charge. Period.

        Some nights junior got the keys, and some nights Betty Sue was home alone. It was mostly a sense I had, and I guess it turned out pretty much right.

  7. Toby should have the fumbles under control against the LIONS.
    and Tomb… I’m not invested in the Gerhart jerseys lol.

    1. Charles, I certainly hope so! If he wears purple, I’m rooting for the rascal.

      I just think on his best day, he’s fairly, well, mediiocre. I think we can do better on a 2nd RB.

      1. Tomb, he seems to do better when he gets more carries and gets a rhythm , When he started a few times he did fairly well…

        1. That’s my point. Isn’t “fairly well” another way of sayiing “fairly mediocre?”

          1. No, I think I would list them in this order:
            very well –
            well –
            fairly well –
            satisfactory –
            mediocre –
            fairly mediocre

                1. Coach,Tombs,
                  I don’t think he even qualifys for Mediocre…
                  Him and James wastes of a 1st round.

  8. Brett,
    I really don;t think last nights game will solve the ref situation any sooner. Seems the pension is a big part of the problem…Plus the Nfl wants the refs to be more accountable
    I was nice to see it go against the packers…

  9. Tomb, let me be clear. There is NOTHING acceptable about three fumbles in a game, I don’t care if you had 100 carries, and I don’t care that one of them was the wrong call by the ref. As Toby went in after two fumbles, I would have reminded the young man that if I don’t see two hands on the ball, and him handing it directly to an official after the play is over, he will become a “former” Viking running back. But, its his job to be on the field in those situations, and I would have sent him back out. Only time will tell whether or not he keeps his place on the depth chart, or the roster.

    1. “As Toby went in after two fumbles, I would have reminded the young man that if I don’t see two hands on the ball, and him handing it directly to an official after the play is over, he will become a “former” Viking running back.”

      So, since he fumbled again, he’d be fired if you were coach?

      1. Not if he had held the ball with two hands, because then he wouldn’t have fumbled, would he. (Sheesh…, do I have to explain everything?)

        OK, I’ll save you the reply… Yes, the third fumble WAS Denzel’s fault for not telling Toby to hold the ball with two hands.

        (Can we move on here?) How about those replacement refs, huh?

        1. I’d be HAPPY to talk about the replacement refs.


          Having said that, the only game they’ve directly affected led to a phocker loss.

          I say keep them around. Those big freakin’ babies are acting like it’s the end of the world. IT WASN’T EVEN A PLAYOFF/SUPERBOWL GAME!

          Packer fans are suck holes through and through….protests? Really?

          I’d hate to be a Wisconsin dog about now. Almost as bad as being a Vick dog, I suspect.

          1. I’m trying to think of a time I would LIKE to be a Wisconsin dog… Yeah, I suppose a nice Saturday of duck hunting, then rest on Sunday while the master watches his gods. But if they lose on Sunday or Monday, I’m under the porch and stayin’ there.

  10. I have to mention how much I dislike the Packers and their fans. Did they seriously have enough fans that didn’t have to go to work today that they were able to have a rally at Lambeau? They actually wanted the game to be overturned in their favor. This isn’t the first time a team has lost a game because of officiating. You get pissed off, lick your wounds, and move on. It’s frick’n week three, they didn’t just lose the super bowl. I swear even the media seems more worked up about this because of the team it happened too. I kinda wish this had happened to a different team so we won’t have to hear about how this was a rallying point for them every time they have a good game the rest of the year.

    1. The are PATHETIC.

      Like I said on PFT (before my comment was removed for whatever Florio reason), it’s funny they pretend that Favre was the drama queen.

      I’m trying to keep it PG 13, but man I have no respect for those big babies. It was a regular season game…try it in the post season and see how it feels.

      Gray eatin’, sausage fingered, live in your parents basement pieces of ****.

      1. The=they

        They are so irritating, they are messing up my spelling, which is a pet peeve of mine.

        Eat it Packers. 8 sacks in the first half….losers.

  11. Per PFT and Florio
    “packer players discussed taking a knee every offensive play as protest until regular Refs return”

    Really? Time to man up you shrieking matted pile of hair pies.

    Did the Vikings “take a knee” when the Chiefs robbed them in the second fixed Super Bowl? NO!
    Did the Vikings “take a knee” when Drew Pearson pushed off Nate Wright? NO!
    Did Denny Green “take a ……. uh ………. nevermind
    Did the Vikings “take a knee” after the 12 men on the field debacle? NO!
    Did the Vikings “take a knee” after the Bountygate scandal? NO!
    Did America “take a knee” after the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? NO!

    Grow a pair you bratwurst brained, twice stained, “chromosome 22” lacking defecants.

    Life ain’t about crying every time you get knocked down, it’s about gettin’ back up

    1. It would be fine with me if the Packers took “a knee every offensive play as protest until regular Refs return.” Here’s hoping the replacement refs make it to the end of the season.

  12. FROM PFT: “Vikings punter Chris Kluwe is also taking to Twitter looking for the best description for the final play of the Packers-Seahawks game, the Golden Tate-M.D. Jennings “simultaneous catch.” After initially suggesting “The Catch?, The Inaccurate Reception, and The Fail Mary,” Kluwe came back to report that “Fail Mary” had a sizable lead.
    But he also mentioned “Golden Taint” had emerged as a write-in candidate.”

    Personally, I’m surprised nobody has come up with some variant of “discount double catch.”

  13. Q: You said you feel bad for the officials, do you feel bad for the Packers, too?

    A: No, I don’t.

    (From Christian Ponder’s presser today.)

  14. Word on the street is issues are resolved and the regulars will be back by Thursday nights Browns Ravens game.

  15. More jibber jabber, yet no decision. I am asking what YOU would have done as coach of the Vikes. You can leave Denzel out of this, you’re an old ball coach. Educate the masses, what would you have done?

    Kick or go for it. Two roads, choose one Buds.

    A or B ?
    Left or Right ?
    Heads or Tails?

    You.can do it! Choose!

    1. OK, Freds. Given the fact that you apparently have reading comprehension limitations and therefore cannot grasp the reason I did not offer a decision, I will end this madness by agreeing with Denzel’s call and declaring it was a good time to make a statement of aggressiveness. I recall sitting there thinking that he probably would kick the field goal, and thinking to myself, you know, this might just be one of those times when you say, “let’s do it!” I was pleasantly surprised to see the offense stay on the field, but of course anxious to see what they had called. I later heard that what they expected from SF defensively wasn’t there, but Ponder’s resourcefulness saved the play. The only thing that would have made it better is if we could have smashed AP through the middle and left a few 49ers upside down, but I think the call was a good one, AND I WOULD HAVE DONE THE SAME THING. Is that sufficient?

      1. Yipeeeee, Yahoooo… You did it Buds. You made a decision! Finally. Yes! Finally.

  16. Speaking about an end to the referee lockout….”I’m glad it’s over,” punter Chris Kluwe said. “It was a noble experiment but, I think, ultimately a failed experiment. From what we’ve seen, it will be good to not have to worry about that when we’re on the field.”

    Well, that’s good news. Now maybe Chris Kluwe can PUNT like a professional instead of a replacement. It’s not easy kicking a football high and long when you see replacement refs all around you.

    1. Me too, Charlie. I knew it was gonna become a big mess, and it sure did. Funny how there is so much talk about the Packer-Seahawk game, but the end of the Viking-49er game could have been every bit as bad, and in some ways was a bigger blunder by the refs.

  17. Ok, Brett, as much as I hate to do this, its time to ask… Is everything OK with Adam? I know he’s moving, and if that’s all this is, that’s fine. But is there something else we should be knowing? Is everything else really OK? .. or ?

    1. Adam is just fine from what I understand. I think he has been without internet for some time but will be back in the swing of things this weekend. Nothing to worry about. He just said hello briefly the other day and let me know he was still alive.

      Things will be back to normal soon. Our favorite blogger will return shortly!

  18. Now we gotta get johnny out of the field and back here spewing wisdom. That harvest getting anywhere near done, johnny?

    1. Almost done Coach. Should be back in full swing in the next couple days. Glad the real refs are back, last nights game was actually fun to watch.

        1. We were very dry Coach but we ended up with some pretty good crops. All the creeks are pretty much dried up like I’ve never seen in my lifetime, that’s bad for the duck hunters and us fur trappers. I’ve heard your area has gotten some rain this summer, is that true or did it go around you guys?

          1. The rains were very spotty, and like you guys it is very dry here right now. The crops in general are very good except for some isolated fields. Don’t hear much complaining, so that’s a pretty good indication. The dairy guys got five nice cuttings, so they’re pretty happy too.

  19. 26 huh?
    Three touchdowns, a FG and…
    Two touchdowns… and four field goals!
    OK… troubles in the red zone, huh?

    OK, I’m gonna bump that score up a little, Freds.
    Vikes 31
    Lions 27

    I’m concerned about Calvin Johnson. Very concerned. We really have no one for him.

  20. Vikings 11
    Lions 4

    Defensive contest with 7 safeties and one extra point.
    Cal Viking wins the parlay in Vegas, Purple Charlie wins the numbers he drew at work

    1. my secret: harry smith is gonna tag team with chris the cook to defuse megabomb

      caesars is gonna 86 me

  21. Wow, we all have a hangover from that 49er win, huh? No way we woild have seen these predictions for this game 7 days ago.

    By the way, Schwartz is a putz.

  22. Wayne Elliott (the seahawk’s ref from monday) was gonna ref our game this week

    the lions are gonna miss not getting 10 time outs this sunday

  23. I have never put much value in the “strength of schedule” thing (maybe I’ve said that before.) The 49er and Lion games are examples. I really believe we drew the 49ers at a very good spot in both of our schedules. This game with the Lions, however, feels just the opposite. Our young team just can’t help but feel the goodness of the 49er win in a way that may work against us this week. The Lions, however, are stinging and focused (and don’t play at home again for a month, I’m told). They planned on a playoff season, and they are most likely very focused on making sure the Vikes don’t spoil that already. Given where the two teams are at this week, and the Lions in front of their home crowd, this will be a very difficult game to win. I contend its not so much who you play, its when you play them.

    1. For some reason I have the same feeling about this game Coach. With the youth on this team I’m just not sure they can play great games back to back, it will be a real challenge for this young group and I’m praying they can pull it off. I suspect a close game coming down to a last second field goal.