Notebook: Cedric Griffin not talkative after stumble on winning score
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Cedric Griffin was in no mood for details after allowing the Kansas City Chiefs' only touchdown in the Minnesota Vikings' 22-17 loss on Sunday.
"The Chiefs just made a play on that play," Griffin said. "I didn't make a play. The Chiefs did."
Kansas City had driven to at least the Vikings' 36-yard line on five previous drives, only to settle for five field goals that left them ahead 15-10 entering the fourth quarter.
Facing second-and-3 from their 48-yard line, the Chiefs ran a stutter-go on the outside with receiver Dwayne Bowe, who sprung free as Griffin settled and stumbled while staring at Matt Cassel's pump fake in the backfield.
"The Chiefs made a good play, quarterback to receiver," Griffin said, repeating a version of the same line to several questions from reporters. "They made a play for their team and I didn't. Good play for them."
Griffin compounded his initial error by missing a diving tackle attempt after safety Jamarca Sanford did the same, allowing Bowe to cross the goal line for what proved to be the winning score with 13 minutes, 51 seconds to go.
This, a week after Griffin was in coverage on Calvin Johnson's 40-yard catch that set up the Detroit Lions' winning field goal in overtime.
Asked if it's frustrating to give up the Chiefs' only touchdown, Griffin said, "It's not frustrating. The Chiefs, they have a good quarterback, good receivers. They make plays just like we make plays. They made a play and I didn't. So, good for them."
Too little, too late
The Vikings got a lift from an unlikely source on their ensuing drive.
A third-down sack left them in fourth-and-14 from the Chiefs' 37-yard line when Donovan McNabb fired a bullet to Bernard Berrian for 20 yards on a cross, setting up Michael Jenkins' 1-yard touchdown grab six plays later.
"It's usually just one play a game that kind of gets that momentum going," McNabb said. "I thought that that was it."
The catch was the second all season for Berrian, who had a 14-yarder wiped out in the first quarter because of a holding penalty. McNabb looked Berrian's away again twice on the Vikings' final series, but left end Tyson Jackson tipped a second-down pass at the line and a third-down pass bounced at Berrian's feet.
A first-down throw to the corner for Visanthe Shiancoe also was tipped in that sequence, and another corner throw for Shiancoe on fourth was well-defended by backup safety Sabby Piscitelli.
"They did a great job on that last series of getting their hands up and knocking the balls down twice, which put us in a tough position on that third and fourth down," McNabb said.
Chiefs coach Todd Haley was livid the replay official didn't page referee Bill Leavy to review Jenkins' touchdown.
Replays on the videoboards at Arrowhead Stadium showed one of Jenkins' feet may have landed out of bounds. But reviews of all scoring plays now can be initiated only by the replay booth, and coaches can be penalized for throwing a challenge flag in those situations.
Haley, who yelled at Leavy and at least one other official during the ensuing timeout, downplayed the call after the game.
"The toughest thing is just not challenging and understanding that, when it's called a score, that you can't challenge it or it will be a 15-yard penalty" for delay of game, Haley said. "I never had a clear shot from our vantage point worth looking at -- no different than had we been where we could challenge if it had been a non-scoring play. ...
"They have all the views they need there (in the replay booth) and I'm assuming they made the right call."
Apparently, the Viking can go deep -- and not with Berrian.
Devin Aromashodu's diving 34-yard touchdown catch with 1:47 left in the first quarter was McNabb's longest completion to a wide receiver this season.
"It was something we looked at during the week and we thought it would be there," Frazier said. "We tried it a few other times. We just couldn't consistently take advantage of some of the things they were doing."
Aromashodu beat cornerback Brandon Carr in a footrace up the left sideline, caught McNabb's beautifully thrown pass and held on as he skidded out of bounds. Safety Kendrick Lewis was far too late on the play as he played one of many single-safety looks the Chiefs showed.
McNabb also had a 41-yard completion to Kyle Rudolph in the second quarter when a Chiefs linebacker couldn't buzz to the sideline underneath Cover-3. Rudolph finished with three catches for 44 yards, and fellow tight end Visanthe Shiancoe led the Vikings with six for 58.
"We took shots downfield," McNabb said. "But again, we began to work intermediate passing game, which that's when you see Shiancoe, Kyle Rudolph and those guys on the inside starting to work and be effective, which opened up more things for us on the outside. But we're going to see that. We're going to see that a lot, and teams have been trying to stop us from running the ball."
McNabb's first interception in three weeks came on one of his shortest passes of the day, capping a particularly ugly sequence for the offense.
Adrian Peterson's fumble on first down correctly was overturned after the Vikings challenged. Two plays later, a broken play led to a botched handoff between McNabb and Peterson, who fell on the ball to keep the Vikings in second-and-10 from the Chiefs' 15.
McNabb was sacked on the next play and then overthrew backup halfback Toby Gerhart on a screen pass that Carr snared and returned 14 yards to jump start a Chiefs drive that netted the second of Ryan Succop's five field goals.
"Just threw it a little too high," McNabb said. "He had to go up underneath (Hali). Just a bad directional pass."
Left tackle Charlie Johnson didn't finish the game because of an apparent left shoulder or hand injury.
"He got banged up," Frazier said.
Patrick Brown finished the game in Johnson's place -- the first non-goal line action Brown has gotten in the regular season.
Center John Sullivan left briefly in the first half with an apparent left knee injury. Linebacker Chad Greenway appeared to have the wind knocked out of him. Peterson had a calf cramp in the fourth quarter. All three returned.
As expected, the Vikings limited middle linebacker E.J. Henderson's snaps because of his ongoing left knee trouble. Brother Erin Henderson stayed on the field in the nickel defense, taking the "mike" position E.J. Henderson usually plays.
Sack that wasn't
Everson Griffen trashed Ryan Lilja for a sack on the Chiefs' initial third down and jumped up to celebrate.
One problem: Griffen blatantly pulled down quarterback Matt Cassel by the facemask, was flagged 15 yards and gave the Chiefs new life on a drive that ended with a field goal.
A facemask penalty later backed up Kansas City's drive in the red zone. The Chiefs settled for a 40-yard Succop field goal and an early 3-0 edge -- their first lead of the season.
• Ex-Chiefs DE Jared Allen was one of the Vikings' captains, along with PK Ryan Longwell and TE Jimmy Kleinsasser, who was appearing in his 100th consecutive game. Allen finished with two sacks, increasing his season total to 6½.