Notebook: Brad Childress furious over call that nullified Shiancoe's TD
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GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Minnesota Vikings coach Brad Childress was so steamed about Visanthe Shiancoe's nullified second-quarter touchdown catch he opened his postgame media conference on Sunday night with an extended rant about the call.
On first-and-10 from the Green Bay Packers' and 4 minutes, 56 seconds remaining before halftime, Shiancoe came free on a post and made a sprawling grab for what appeared to be a 17-yard touchdown.
Packers coach Mike McCarthy challenged, however, and officials ruled the pass incomplete -- even though replays appeared inconclusive at best about whether Shiancoe had possession before the tip of the ball hit the ground.
"Hard to win when you turn it over three times, one for a touchdown, and it's hard when they take touchdowns off the board," Childress said after the Minnesota Vikings' 28-24 loss to the Green Bay Packers.
"I must not understand (what constitutes a) catch in the end zone, for them to take Shiancoe's off the board. That's not the way it's taught. That's not the way we're told. That goes back to the Tampa Bay game that Tony (Dungy) coached years ago -- you control the ball, and it doesn't make any difference if you control it in your hand or forearm. Period. That's not he way it's taught at our owner's symposium, and that's wrong. That's wrong."
In all, referee Scott Green took away three touchdowns from the Vikings, but two of them were clear-cut calls. Percy Harvin stepped out of bounds before crossing the goal line in the second quarter -- Adrian Peterson scored one play later -- and had his right foot land out of bounds on what would have been a go-ahead 35-yard touchdown in the final minute.
The Shiancoe call proved costly, because the series ended with rookie halfback Toby Gerhart failing to handle a short pass on third-and-3 and Ryan Longwell kicking a field goal. Green announced the call was reverse because Shiancoe "used the ground to help make the catch."
Asked what explanation he received, Childress said, "They said he didn't control it. And he controlled it. And there's nobody in this room -- if the litmus is 50 drunks in a bar, those 50 drunks say that's a catch, and 50 writers in this room, you may be drunk, too, but ... it's a catch."
Shiancoe was more measured in his comments, saying he spoke with Green and "he told me that if it was further up in my hands it would have been a touchdown. He says because I had it low in my hands, it's not a touchdown."
However, before getting on the team plane, Shiancoe posted on his Twitter account: "Thought I had the TD ... (shaking my head). Don't understand."
Coincidentally, Childress had a chance to take away four points from the Packers but didn't throw his challenge flag. Replays showed Green Bay tight end Andrew Quarless bobbled his 9-yard touchdown catch after landing on the end line.
Several players were visibly frustrated when Childress allowed the last 25 seconds or so to tick off the clock in the first half -- rather than taking at least one shot down the field.
Instead of using one of two remaining timeouts, Childress let the clock run, and with about 10 seconds left, quarterback Brett Favre began jogging toward the locker room as Moss and others held their arms out in confusion.
"There was 24 seconds left there, and that's what we wanted to do," Childress said. "We wanted to call our timeout, wanted to see if we could pop a draw on the first-down play, which we did. ... We took the shot, we got offensive pass interference, we moved backwards at that point in time and they had three timeouts. I didn't want to pitch the ball. I didn't want to have them use their (timeouts) and let them have a punt-block (opportunity)."
Childress said he had no problem with the call on Moss.
"Can't put your two hands on the guy's back and push off," he said.
Gerhart got his most extensive playing time of the season, replacing Peterson for several extended stretches.
Peterson broke his chinstrap on the game's opening play and spoke to reporters with a sizeable welt on his left cheek, but there were no signs he was hobbled -- and he got plenty of touches. He finished with 131 yards on 28 carries (4.7 average) and two catches for 41 yards, while Gerhart had 24 yards on five carries (4.8 average).
Childress said Gerhart's action was planned in certain packages, but Peterson said he was surprised to be on the sideline in several third- and fourth-down situations.
"I don't have an idea," Peterson said. "I don't call the plays. When you call my number, I'll go out there and do my job."
Backup safety Eric Frampton received medical attention on the field after covering a first-quarter kickoff but walked off under his own power.
Receiver Percy Harvin limped off the field late, clutching his left shin and calf, but he only missed one play before returning.
• Rookie DE Everson Griffen made his NFL debut on the kickoff-coverage team.
• The Vikings' first two drives were three-and-outs followed by punts, making them 0-for-12 in scoring on those drives so far this season.