Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.
Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.
Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.
It wasn’t exactly how Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians drew it up, but the Vikings saw their late lead squandered on a bizarre sequence that brought back memories of the old Holy Roller play.
On 4th and Goal from the Vikings’ 6-yard line, Cardinals quarterback Ryan Lindley was unable to field a wide shotgun snap. The ball ricocheted off his right hand and rolled into a scrum of linemen. One of the Cardinals swatted the ball forward and to the left, and Cardinals running back Zach Bauman scooped it up and ran it into the end zone for the go-ahead touchdown with 1:11 left.
After a replay review, referee Craig Wrolstad announced that the call on the field would stand.
“Any backwards pass can be advanced by any team, any direction, on any down,” Wrolstad later said. “It wasn’t a fumble because the snap was never possessed by any of the players. The ball was snapped, it rolled around, it was knocked around a couple of times. Nobody ever had control of the ball. Nobody ever had control of the ball, so nobody ever had possession, so it was not a fumble.”
Wrolstad added that he didn’t believe that the Cardinals player who touched the ball, John Estes, intentionally pushed the ball forwards. If he had, the play would not have been permissible.
Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer said that an official initially told him not to worry about the review because a fumble cannot be advanced on fourth down. But it turned out it wasn’t a fumble.
“Then the official came up to me and said it was a backwards pass because the quarterback never had possession of the ball so it wasn’t a fumble,” he said. “They were able to advance it. There were some other things that happened on that play that probably didn’t get called. The officials in this league do a great job. They really do. We don’t always agree with them, but they do a great job.”
The silver lining was that the play gave Zimmer an opportunity to see rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater run the two-minute offense in a game. And, of course, Bridgewater delivered the win.
|Tampa||1||Top 7th Inning|
|LA Clippers||93||4th Qtr 0:39|
|Golden State||5:00 PM|
|Oklahoma City||5:30 PM|
|New Orleans||7:00 PM|
|Los Angeles||3:00 PM|
|Tampa Bay||4:00 PM|
|St. Louis||8:30 PM|
|SMU||36||2nd Half 15:57|
|Quinnipiac||40||2nd Half 15:10|
|Fairfield||38||2nd Half 14:59|
|Marist||32||2nd Half 12:09|
|Iona||41||2nd Half 11:43|
|Oregon State||7||1st Half 11:36|
|South Florida||8||1st Half 10:41|
|Michigan State||3:00 PM|
|Arizona State||7:30 PM|
|Washington St||8:30 PM|
|Coll of Charleston||65|
|Rhode Island||33||2nd Half 13:48|
|Richmond||28||2nd Half 15:50|
|Davidson||40||2nd Half 9:04|
|St Bonaventure||30||2nd Half 11:40|
|George Mason||28||2nd Half 11:16|
|(22) George Washington||67|
|Indiana||35||2nd Half 10:48|
|(12) Texas A&M||39||2nd Half 15:40|
|Ole Miss||25||2nd Half 14:56|
|(11) Miss State||35|
|Clemson||43||2nd Half 10:31|
|Maine||38||2nd Half 8:20|
|Vermont||37||2nd Half 8:39|
|Quinnipiac||49||2nd Half 15:42|
|Saint Peters||38||2nd Half 11:09|
|(4) Notre Dame||56||2nd Half 8:53|
|Wisconsin||44||2nd Half 12:18|
|Stony Brook||35||2nd Half 10:38|
|Northeastern||28||2nd Half 9:21|
|William & Mary||48|
|St Johns||43||2nd Half 10:06|
|James Madison||54||2nd Half 11:41|
|Towson||4||1st Half 11:50|
|Illinois State||2||1st Half 14:30|
|Southern Ill||5||1st Half 13:40|
|Northern Iowa||5||1st Half 12:00|
|Minnesota||16||1st Half 10:32|
|(15) North Carolina||9||1st Half 14:04|
|Alabama||11||1st Half 12:00|
|(9) Florida State||14||1st Half 11:30|
|Arkansas||10||1st Half 9:13|
|Georgia||10||1st Half 11:57|
|Dayton||23||1st Half 11:30|
|Drake||10||1st Half 13:24|
|(10) Arizona State|
|(19) Stanford||3:00 PM|
|Southern Miss||3:00 PM|
|(2) South Carolina||4:00 PM|
|Ohio State||4:00 PM|
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