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Taunting penalty on Keenum highlights rough day for refs

A strange taunting penalty called on Case Keenum in the fourth quarter of the Minnesota Vikings’ 30-23 win over the Detroit Lions perfectly summarized the refereeing for the day.

Following a sack by defensive end Ziggy Ansah, Keenum flipped the ball softly, nicking Ansah’s leg as he celebrated with a barrel roll along the ground. When the flag was thrown, most figured Ansah was getting nailed for overdoing it. Instead, Keenum was penalized, backing the Vikings up on fourth down to their own 8-yard line.

The Vikings’ quarterback was stunned by the flag.

“It wasn’t something I meant to do at all, I was just frustrated…I did a bad job in the pocket,” Keenum said. “I didn’t do my offensive line justice and I was kind of frustrated. I guess I threw the ball, I need to see it on film. I didn’t realize what happened.”

Technically Keenum broke the rules, which do not allow players to spike the ball on an opponent, but it was on the spirit-of-the-rule edge to say the least. Keenum did take the blame for his error.

“I don’t need to give the refs a chance to call that and give our team a situation where we are backed up,” he said.

Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer made it clear that he expected this type of day from the refs, who also nearly botched a touchdown review and called several questionable penalties such as a pass interference on Xavier Rhodes and facemask on Eric Kendricks. They also missed a blatant pass interference on a deep throw toward Stefon Diggs.

“We almost lost our composure a couple times,” Zimmer said. “We study each crew going into the game. I told them this could be like this today. They had to play clean, smart football. I probably shouldn’t say anything else.”

  • DDJR

    Haha love Zimm. The refs where crap today everyone knows it. The game was over and it was like they wanted to keep the game interesting. Should’ve been 24-3 at half easily. The way the game played out was silly. It should’ve ended up being like 34-10. Theres no reason it should’ve been that close, but kudos to them for keeping there composure and not letting the calls take over there approach to the game.

    • Drediock

      I agree about Zimm but both players and coaches need to be careful when being critical of the refs publicly.
      Refs tend to band up and stick together kinda like cops will protect and take the side of even a bad cop.
      The advent of phone cams is finally exposing what we all knew already. That there are some bad cops.
      Be too critical of of one publicly and others can get back at you for it at a later time and start playing nit picky on you.

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      • IrreverentOne

        Did you honestly think that your analogy would be welcomed by people who read sports sites?
        There are a$$holes in every aspect of life and I see your comment as being made by one of them.

        • Drediock

          Do you honestly think I care about what you think?
          You can call me whatever you like but facts are facts. Facts dont care about feelings. Not even yours.There isnt a thing i said that is less then accurate
          Things are as they are. And they ARE as I said they are.
          And for the record. Some people seem to agree with me

          • IrreverentOne

            Yeah, you, your brother and your mother agree with you. You do realize that it is impossible to down vote people.

          • Drediock

            Facts are still facts. regardless of if you like them or not.
            Sorry. The real world is a not nice place. and the truth in the real world is more often then not less then not nice. Such is the case here. I dont give a damn abotu nice. I care about accuracy in facts
            Lemme guess. You’re a cop.
            If so. Learn to police your own before you even think about policing others.
            Most cops are decent people. the problem is as decent as they are. Ive seen very few who dont first side with other cops regardless of circumstance unless they have no other choice.
            and Ive seen even less that dont take out payback on those civilians that have spoken out on bad ones. Ive both observed it several times and experienced it first hand. so. cry me a river.
            My experience is the same thing happens with anyone who wields power. Power hates to be questioned and/or called out even when wrong. Thus we see punishment doled out by the NFL for being critical of officiating.
            Maybe if the decent people did a better job of weeding out the bad apples that everyone knows exists instead of protecting them we might need not have this debate.

          • IrreverentOne

            Sorry to see that you have had so many opportunities to interact with law enforcement. It probably would be less of a problem if your actions hadn’t brought their attention to you. And no, I’m not a cop.

          • Drediock

            None of my actions were illegal. The problems came with my reporting on the actions of the cops. The problems with the police only came after I reported what I saw.
            Yea I guess I should have just kept my mouth shut about what I saw just prior to a man losing his life while in the hands of the police.

          • IrreverentOne

            Again, sorry to see that the area you must reside in is subject to so many “crooked cops”. Have you reached out to the political leaders in your city or county and made it known that you live in such an area?

          • Drediock

            I never called cops crooked. Only that cops protect cops unless presented with irrefutable evidence to the contrary.
            Dude. Im 56 years old. I’ve lived in numerous places in 3 different states and spent countless time in others.
            I’ve lived in high crime areas and low crime ares. The incident I was referring was in a very low crime upscale area and this was many years ago.
            I have customers who are cops. friends of the family who are cops, and family who are cops.
            I’ve personally known great cops and cops I wouldn’t give a wooden nickle for
            there is one constant I’ve witnessed. No matter where you go. Almost without exception. Cops are as a whole by and large the same. Cops will in almost every circumstance take the side of another cop unless presented with irrefutable evidence even if they know the cop has a tendency to be an anal orifice. And none of them like it when you point out the bad ones.
            But please. Dont believe me. Test it for yourself.
            Go complain about a cop to another cop and see what kind of reaction you get

          • Drediock

            Oh and for the record. You are the only one Ii see disagreeing with me.
            Funny you chose THAT handle. Guess you are “irreverent” for only the things you dont like with.

  • Cman

    The refs flat out suck. Try and fine me Goodell you piece of crap. Anyone calling out these useless pieces of crap get fined, but the league can call out anyone they want and screw teams over. Sick of seeing this crap officiating week in and week out. This game never should have been this close, that missed PI on Diggs would have been 1st down in scoring position. If they score there, the Lions are down more and need to throw the ball to have a chance. That would have played right into our defense. Quit paying these incompetent zebras big money to screw their job up and then protect them right after it.

  • Jim K

    The refs are an ongoing problem. They try so hard to get it right I think they are screwing it up. I liked they didn’t have quick whistles and let things play out. But how many times can they review things and not get them right. On the turned out not to be a catch touchdown, what was the difference between the way the ball moved when it hit the ground then compared to the long Golladay catch just before halftime. The ball hit the ground and moved. No Catch.
    Thought for stretches today I was watching WWE.
    But great win. Good job staying focused.

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  • jeffreyinoc

    Calls should be reviewable just like plays. Let someone back at HQ make the call. The non-call on Diggs was insane. And the same thing happened to Thielen in the end zone on Sunday.

    • Jason Williams

      Yeah, the fact that Diggs non-call couldn’t be reviewed really irks me.

  • Gordon Guffey

    I think this might have been the worse game I have seen ((( Viking games ))) in the last 10 to 15 years ~ Maybe longer ~ And I dont normal call out the Refs because they have their own bad games just like teams do ~

    That being said it sure looked like they or the NFL wanted the Lions to win this game ~ Just saying ~

    I tip my hat to these Viking who fought through this BS game to the end and came out of there with a win ~ This group of players were not going to just mail this game in as a lose ~ No they stood tall and took the game away from the Lions who got away with murderhold all day long on both offense and defense ~

  • Daniel Henry

    Every Sunday I ask someone if they can tell me what makes up PI. I like that the CFL allows you to challenge the call or non-call. I also remember the blatant pass interference that they missed in Baltimore game.

  • SM

    Atrocious zebra game. On the fumble that Thielen advanced into the end zone, the entire fan base knew it was down by contact and the four striped idiots conferred and called it a TD. And the non call of interference was a HUGE slap.

    Make every interference play over ten yards reviewable.

    • Gordon Guffey

      I dont like a lot of instant replays but I have to totally agree with you SM on this ~ When the refs act stupid they need to watch that games very close from their NY headquarters ~

      Its sad when the refs are so bad that even us haters of instant replay are wanting it now ~ Still shaking my head of the game they called ~

      • SM

        Hey Guff, hope your fam had a good Turkey day.

        Yea, game changing calls need top reviewed.

        I forgot the strip sack on Stafford too. Moron zebras gave possession back to the Kitties. Plain as day that it was a fumble recovered by Vikes.

        At least they didn’t give the offside cheating FG block TD to the kittens.

        • Gordon Guffey

          I posted a story on the FG here ~ The Lions dont believe they were offsides on the play and were cheated out of a win on that play and others ~ The guy was 2 yards from the kicker when the ball was snapped ~ OK maybe not two yards but you saw what I’m talking about ~ LOL

          Yes we had a great day outside of my heart almost stopping every few plays because of one sided blown calls and one side none call ~

          Hope you and yours had a wonderful day also ~ In the end it was a good day after the refs could no longer take the game from the Vikings ~ Did you see Diggs say something to the ref at the end and the ref chased Diggs for a short time with his hand on his flag ~ I missed it but read about it ~ I cant remember where ~ Maybe Pro Football Talk ~ I dont buy into much of what they say about the Vikings ~ But the last two or three weeks they have improved greatly ~ Just goes to show you what winning can do ~

    • Jason Williams

      Better to let the play continue and have it go to automatic review as a scoring play than to call it back too soon. One of the few things that crew that made sense…

      The ‘blocked’ field goal made no sense either. Play is dead if “unabated to the QB”, but holders (who are usually backup QBs) and punters are fair game (and even more vulnerable!).

  • Topgunn

    The refs were especially terrible this game.

  • Scott Parrish

    I am more and more disenchanted with the senile referees taking the game away from the players. They need to improve the requirements and training to be an NFL referee. They missed some obvious calls against the Lions and made some calls against the Vikings that made me feel that they were paid off. Luckily the Vikings were able to overcome the extremely poor officiating.

  • Finchy74

    The refs weren’t “bad”. They were doing exactly what they were told to do.

    Given the viewing numbers and consequent revenue of a Thanksgiving Day game, to think otherwise is naive. A blowout at halftime means the loss of millions of dollars in revenue.

    Nobody wants to believe that the NFL (and other professional sports) are less than egalitarian. And I’ve little doubt that I’ll get some angry responses to this comment. But you all watched what happened yesterday with your own eyes. The simplest solution is usually the correct one.

    • Jason Williams

      That’s not true. Eyes tuning in or out doesn’t effect dollars – the broadcast fees are already paid, as are the local advertising contracts. What blowout games do is damage the NFL brand that is already reeling from crappy Thursday games.


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