The son of a former FBI agent, Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell has had the silver tongue passed down through his pedigree.
After a rollercoaster 33-30 win over the Buffalo Bills where there were several penalties against the Bills missed by the officials, O’Connell took a slight jab at the NFL officials in a film study this week.
Kevin O’Connell Roasts NFL Officials for Missed Call in Overtime
In his weekly film study with Vikings.com on November 15, O’Connell made a quick aside to address a play that could have cost the Vikings the game on Sunday.
In overtime, Minnesota had the ball on the Bills’ 2-yard line. The Vikings attempted to run the ball in with Dalvin Cook, however, he was stopped for a significant loss that forced Minnesota to settle for a field goal and leave the game on the defense’s shoulders. A closer look after the play showed the Bills had 12 men on the field, which should have resulted in a penalty, moving the ball closer to the goal line and awarding a fresh set of down.
Patrick Peterson came through with the game-clinching interception on Buffalo’s ensuing drive, however, the missed call could have caused a frenzy had the Bills won.
An offensive head coach, O’Connell would have loved to deliver the dagger on offense in overtime, leading to a tongue-in-cheek response to the officiating that game during his film study.
“Obviously, we did not 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,” O’Connell said with a scoff before returning to sarcasm-tinged coachspeak. ‘We’ll continue to work through a good play for first-and-goal at the 2 with 12 guys on the field, I’m working on that right now.”
Bill Belichick Speaks Out on NFL Not Reviewing Crucial Bills Catch to Force Overtime
It’s unfortunate the play O’Connell referenced wasn’t even the biggest officiating blunder of the game.
A much larger miscarriage of league rules came on the Bills’ final drive in regulation. After a Josh Allen fumble led to Minnesota taking a lead, Buffalo marched downfield to kick a game-tying field goal to force overtime.
A vital gain on their final drive came as wide receiver Gabe Davis dove along the sidelines for the ball. He fell to the ground and did not get his hands under the ball, resulting in a play where he used the field to corral the ball that should have been ruled an incompletion.
However, the officials ruled it a catch and the Bills, strategically, rushed to the line of scrimmage to get the next play off before the officials could even consider taking a second look at the previous play.
Bill Belichick took issue with an NFL rule that only allows officials to review plays inside the 2-minute warning. It restricted O’Connell from throwing a challenge flag, which would have led to the play being reversed.
Here’s Belichick’s grievance with the rule, per ESPN:
“Provided the team has a challenge, they should have the opportunity to challenge really any play. I’m on record on that,” Belichick said in his Monday videoconference.
In a Monday interview on sports radio WEEI, Belichick added: “There have been other examples of that, plays that have occurred in situations where teams couldn’t challenge because the rules prohibited [it].
“I get forward progress, and things like that, that you can’t challenge. I’m not talking about that. I’m saying not having the ability to challenge a play that could impact the outcome of the game — even calls like holding and pass interference and things like that — I don’t see why those plays can’t be reviewed [by a coach’s challenge].”