GREEN BAY, WIS. -- Wow, where to begin?
The Vikings fell to 2-4 with a 28-24 loss to the Green Bay Packers in a game that had numerous twists and turns. Brett Favre threw three interceptions in the second half and the Vikings had three touchdowns overturned by replay.
But they still had a chance to win at the end. When their comeback fell short, Coach Brad Childress didn't hide his frustration with the officiating or Favre's decision-making.
"That’s the worst officiated game I’ve seen," Childress said during his postgame intervieew with KFAN. "That referee came over and apologized to me for not calling a hold on the scramble by [Packers quarterback Aaron] Rodgers. And I’ll tell you what, that’s his job. Protect the quarterback and look at the left tackle. Look at the left tackle hold his tail off."
Childress also was livid over a face mask penalty on right tackle Phil Loadholt on the final drive and an overturned touchdown catch by tight end Visanthe Shiancoe in the second quarter.
Shiancoe appeared to make a difficult diving catch, but the referee ruled that the ball hit the turf after reviewing the play.
"You control the ball and it doesn’t make any difference if you control it with your hand or forearm. Period," Childress said. "That’s not the way it’s taught at our owner’s symposium and that’s wrong. That’s wrong. ... They said he didn’t control it and he controlled it. The litmus is 50 drunks in a bar, those 50 drunks say that’s a catch and 50 writers in this room, you may be drunk too, but it’s a catch."
Childress also criticized the Loadholt penalty during his KFAN interview.
“The umpire standing on that side, they called a penalty, the guy hadn’t called a penalty all night long and then I don’t know if he got religion or what happened but Bruce whatever his name didn’t make a [expletive] call all night long,” Childress said. “Now we’re going to get a facemask. I mean c’mon now. C’mon.”
Said Loadholt: "I didn’t feel it. I couldn’t tell. I thought I had his shoulder and kept pushing him by. We just have to look at the film and see. They thought I did.”
Favre struggles in return
Favre's second trip to Lambeau as a visitor didn't look anything like first last season. Favre completed 16 of 29 passes for 212 yards and one touchdown with three interceptions (including one returned for a touchdown) and a 50.4 passer rating.
Favre made several poor decisions, including slinging one pass underhand while he was being tackled. Afterward, Childress was critical of Favre's decision-making.
"It still goes back to taking care of the football," he said. "You can’t throw it to them. You’ve got to play within the confines of our system. Sometimes it’s OK to punt the football and you can’t give seven points going the other way. Not in a game like this. Not with a high-powered team."
Childress said he considered removing Favre but he did not say if he had told Favre. "[I] was going to give him that next series and he took us and moved us down the field," Childress said.
Favre was emotional in the locker room afterward.
"To me it’s devastating," Favre said. "Devastating. I don’t know how else to put it...You feel like you let everybody down."
Favre re-injured his left ankle, which required surgery this past offseason, and moved slowly after the game. He was asked if the injury could affect his ability to play next week.
"Who knows?" he said. "Really, who knows? I hope I do. The reality is, if I can play but not be effective, then it’s not worth playing. I hope I use good judgment. We’ll see. I’m no spring chicken anymore. I don’t heal as quickly. I know the heart’s in the right place though. I know I left it on the field. It’s just disappointing it didn’t work our way."
Here are some other quick notes from locker room:
-- Rookie Toby Gerhart -- not Adrian Peterson -- was on the field for critical third- and fourth-down plays on the final drive.
“I don’t have an idea,” Peterson said when asked why he wasn’t on the field. “I don’t call the plays. Just when they call my number I go out there and do my job.”
Asked if he was surprised that he wasn’t in at that point, Peterson said: “Was I surprised? I can say I was. But Toby does a great job. He has taken some steps forward in his improvement. Maybe it was a play designed for him or what-not. But I just do my job when they call my number.”
Childress said Gerhart was in the game because of certain personnel packages and not concerns over Peterson’s pass protection.
“We just had it set up that he had different packages and so Toby was going to get in there,” Childress said. “He did a nice job of running with the football, he did a great job of picking up in pass protection. Typically guys play in packages and those were his to take.”
-- Percy Harvin had two touchdowns overturned by replay. He thought he had made a potential game-winning 35-yard touchdown catch with less than a minute remaining. However, the play was reversed on review because Harvin’s right foot clearly came down out of bounds.
Afterward, Harvin said that play "will be hard to swallow."
"I knew it was going to be a close call," Harvin said. "I did the best I could trying to get the ball down. It was a heck of a throw. Just ran out of space. Some of those plays you make, some you don’t. Of course we wish we could make them."
That's it for now. We'll have plenty more reaction when we return to Winter Park in a few hours from now.