The Vikings could have pinned their game plan to the Green Bay Packers bulletin board and it wouldn’t have mattered. There was no stopping Dalvin Cook on Sunday as the 25-year-old running back rolled the Vikings’ NFC North rival for a resounding 226 total yards and four touchdowns in a 28-22 win.
Cook taking over the game has resulted in the Packers getting slammed by Green Bay media the past two days in a win that has been described as “embarrassing” and “lifeless.”
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers took the opportunity to save face by claiming that the game officials tilted the game in the Vikings favor on a crucial call in the fourth quarter.
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Rodgers’ Referee Conspiracy
On 4th and 9 nearing the Vikings red zone, Rodgers threw a pass toward tight end Robert Tonyan that was incomplete with safety Anthony Harris on the coverage. One official threw a penalty flag that appeared to be for a pass interference call, but he later picked up the flag and ruled it a no-call.
In his postgame press conference, Rodgers raised the question of whether the league officials in New York had told the field official that it was not pass interference, prompting him to correct the call.
“I know there’s times where — they probably won’t admit it — but New York is looking at some of these plays and telling them whether or not it was pass interference, or whatever the penalty is,” Rodgers said.
Last year the league experimented with making pass interference calls reviewable by replay but reverted to leaving it to the field officials with no help from the league office, per ProFootballTalk.
Rodgers claim is that because the ref threw the flag, then picked it up, his judgment was interfered with.
Former Head of Officiating Says It Was Pass Interference
Fox Sports’ Dean Blandino, who was the NFL Vice President of Officiating from 2013 to 2017 and the XFL head of officiating explained why he felt the play was pass interference in the clip below (refer to Youtube to watch.)
While it may appear to be pass interference, there is no reasoning to why the official changed his call.
The Vikings burned nearly three minutes of clock time after the turnover on downs before punting the ball back to the Packers, who scored on the following possession.
Rodgers made no excuses when it came to his final pass attempt of the game that resulted in a D.J. Wonnum sack and forced fumble but did attribute some of the loss to the Packers not responding well to the surrounding environment.
“I heard right at the last second ‘Look out,’ but I felt like I was clean after Lucas (Patrick) got peeled back,” Rodgers said. “As far as our team, we didn’t overlook anybody. I don’t know if we handled the elements as well as we have in years past. It was obviously cold and windy and I don’t know if we played with the same type of energy that we needed to. We had fans the last two weeks, no fans this week. I don’t know if that had something to do with it, but I didn’t feel like we played with a lot of energy today.”
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