Childress quick to address penalties

Brad Childress wanted an explanation on at least one call by the officials immediately following the Vikings' 27-10 win. He called the vice president of officiating even before conducting his postgame press conference. See what Childress had to say about that conversation.

Brad Childress wasn't going to be called for delay of game when it came to questioning the officiating during Sunday's 27-10 win over the Detroit Lions.

Before the Vikings coach even held his postgame press conference he was on the phone to Mike Pereira, the NFL's vice president of officiating.

The Vikings entered the game with 41 penalties over eight games, fifth-fewest in the league. They had penalties on each of the first two drives of the game and had 13 penalties by the time it ended.

One in particular seemed to hit Childress harder than Ray Edwards hit Lions QB Matthew Stafford. Midway through the third quarter, Edwards came off the line of scrimmage and leaped to avoid a cut block by RB Maurice Morris. He flew into the air and hit Stafford, knocking the ball out of his hand. Jimmy Kennedy recovered and the Vikings appeared to avoid any damage on Detroit's longest drive of the game.

But the drive was extended after when referee Walt Anderson flagged Edwards for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Stafford.

"I just talked to Mike Pereira. I didn't think that (Edwards) was a launch at the quarterback," Childress said in his postgame press conference. "You obviously can't cause a collision with your head. There are launches all over the field in football, that's football. I didn't think it was a personal foul. It was kind of a changer right there because they go on to get seven points. I don't believe (Pereira) thought it was either."

The penalty took the ball away from the Vikings and gave the Lions first-and-goal on the 7-yard line. After a 1-yard loss on a running play, Stafford connected with TE Will Heller for the Lions' only touchdown of the game, pulling them within seven points, 17-10.

"(Pereira) said he launched and hit him up high," Childress said. "I said, ‘Define up high for me.' He said, ‘Well, he didn't hit him in the head.' What's up high above the waist? You can't launch and hit a guy below the waist. How can you launch and get somebody to the ground if you can't get them up high. There is no rule that says you can only hit in the midsection. I don't quite get it. I thought it was a great defensive play by Ray. I thought it was a great-effort play by Ray. I thought it was a sack, strip, fumble and that would have gotten us off the field right there."

Edwards said the officiating crew couldn't give him an adequate explanation after the play.

"He wouldn't talk to me. I told him he cut me, but he just shook his head and said it don't matter," Edwards said.

In fact, replays appear to show Edwards' left hand knock the ball out of Stafford's right hand and Edwards' left shoulder contacting Stafford as the defensive end flew by him in the air.

Talking with the league office the day after a game about some questionable calls is commonplace. NFL teams send in film of calls they want explained all the time. But Childress believes that he has only made a call to the officiating "hotline" one other time immediately following a game.

Another penalty also was a question in Childress' mind. At the start of the second quarter, Eric Frampton was called for an illegal block above the waist that negated a 30-yard punt return by Darius Reynaud.

"I'm interested to see the punt return stuff and interested to see if we lost contact," Childress said. "Eric Frampton is probably a Pro Bowl special teams guy and my look at it, I follow him all the way down the field, was that he never lost contact with that guy. If that's the case you can push wherever you got the guy. We leaked yardage today and that is disappointing."

In total the Vikings had 13 penalties for 91 yards. The only other time they had double-digit penalties this season was in Pittsburgh, when they had 11 for 78 yards. San Francisco was the only other game they had more than five penalties in a game.

"The penalty thing is disturbing to me because we are really one of the least penalized teams in the league," Childress said.


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