About that last, lost chance: 'It was clearly interference'

  • Updated: September 30, 2007 - 8:48 PM

Vikings players and coaches were livid Sunday about an official's call on their final offensive play in a 23-16 loss to Green Bay. It wasn't, however, the decision reviewed by the NFL's instant replay system.

Vikings players and coaches were livid Sunday about an official's call on their final offensive play in a 23-16 loss to Green Bay. It wasn't, however, the decision reviewed by the NFL's instant replay system.

Referee Ed Hochuli upheld an interception by Packers cornerback Atari Bigby on a pass intended for receiver Bobby Wade, giving the Packers the ball with 1 minute, 6 seconds remaining. The Vikings, however, argued vehemently that Hochuli missed a pass interference call on Green Bay cornerback Charles Woodson, who was defending Wade.

"I thought it was clearly interference," coach Brad Childress said. "My understanding of pass interference is that you can't have contact with somebody when the ball is in the air. We'll have to go back and look at that one and see if there was contact while the ball was in the air."

Had the call been made, the Vikings would have had a first down near the Packers 30-yard line. The play is not reviewable under instant replay.

Wade said that Woodson had been "holding me all day." In this instance, Wade said Woodson pinned one of his arms back. Instead of catching the ball, Wade tipped it into Bigby's arms.

"It was pass interference 100 percent," Wade said. "We were inside there fighting, no doubt about it. But when the ball is in the air, that's pass interference."

Wade said he asked side judge Don Carlson why the call wasn't made.

"The first thing he told me was, 'I was looking the other way,'" Wade said. "That was his response, verbatim."

Officials are available for interviews only when pre-arranged through a pool reporter. The Vikings' comments came after the pool reporter's opportunity to request an interview.

KEVIN SEIFERT

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