NFL fans watching the Minnesota Vikings-Indianapolis Colts game Saturday were irate at a questionable call made from the referees.
The egregious call came late in the fourth quarter with the Colts clinging to a 36-28 lead. Colts running back Deon Jackson took a handoff up in the middle and fumbled after Minnesota’s defense punched it out. Vikings cornerback Chandon Sullivan scooped it up and took it the other way — the only problem, however, is that the referees had blown the play dead.
Jackson was ruled down, though replays clearly showed the ball had come loose while he was still upright. The referees reversed the call, but the touchdown could not be rewarded.
“STOP BLOWING LIVE PLAYS DEAD!!” one Twitter user wrote. “WHAT A JOKE.”
To make matters worse, the referee crew gave Sullivan an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for his reaction after they called the play dead.
“Chandon Sullivan wants the refs to meet him in the parking lot after the game,” another fan tweeted. “The unsportsmanlike conduct call is salt in the wound there. The officiating this season has been horrendous.”
Vikings Overcome Officials to Down Colts in Epic Comeback
The Vikings defeated the Colts, 39-36, in overtime, making NFL history in the process. Minnesota trailed 33-0 at halftime, making it the largest comeback in the history of the league. The previous high stood for 30 years, as the Buffalo Bills overcame a 32-point deficit to defeat the Houston Oilers in the AFC Wild Card in 1992.
Dalvin Cook scored on a 64-yard touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins with 2:15 to play to cut the lead to 36-34. The Vikings then converted on a two-point conversion, thanks to a completion from Kirk Cousins to T.J. Hockenson.
In overtime, the game appeared to be heading for a tie until the Vikings did just enough to get into field goal range. Greg Joseph knocked down a 40-yard field goal attempt to lift Minnesota to the improbable win.