Vikings star tried to get coach's attention for a challenge.
Percy Harvin (12) wasn’t able to get coach Leslie Frazier’s attention to challenge the ruling that Harvin was stopped inches short of the goal line on third-and-2 with the Vikings trailing by 10 points and under five minutes left in Sunday’s 24-14 loss to the Falcons at the Georgia Dome.
ATLANTA - For what it's worth, Percy Harvin agrees with all of you who think he crossed the goal line.
Unfortunately for the Vikings and their fans -- many of whom rushed to Twitter to express their angst -- Harvin wasn't able to get coach Leslie Frazier's attention to challenge the ruling that Harvin was stopped inches short of the goal line on third-and-2 with the Vikings trailing by 10 points and under five minutes left in Sunday's 24-14 loss to the Falcons at the Georgia Dome.
"I was trying to tell Coach to hurry up and challenge it," Harvin said. "But he had a million things going through his head at the time, so I moved on to the next play."
The next play essentially ended the game when Toby Gerhart was dropped for a 2-yard loss when strong side linebacker Sean Weatherspoon rushed untouched over the left side and hit Gerhart in the backfield. The Falcons took over on downs with 4 minutes, 16 seconds left and ran out the clock as the Vikings joined the 1961 expansion team as the only team in franchise history to start 2-9.
Vikings offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave said he didn't see the replay and was unaware that Harvin was trying to get the coaches to throw the challenge flag.
"I know [coaches in the press box] always have a keen eye on the field," Musgrave said. "There's a lot going on at that stage [on the field], and we're all trying to pull in the same direction and get in the end zone on the next play."
The Vikings started the drive at the Atlanta 3-yard line after a 104-yard kickoff return by Harvin. Quarterback Christian Ponder rolled right and was sacked for a 2-yard loss on first down. Musgrave then called three consecutive power-dive plays, the first two by Harvin, a receiver who's powerful beyond his 184 pounds.
In hindsight, Musgrave said he should have called something different on fourth down.
"We got some bootleg [plays] down there [on the goal line]," Musgrave said. "Looking back on it, I would have loved to have called one of those other than the play that we did call."
On the fourth-down play, tight end Visanthe Shiancoe is supposed to block down, while the left side of the line doubles the tackle and the backside guard [Joe Berger] pulls and kicks out Weatherspoon.
"[Weatherspoon] came upfield so fast that there was no chance for that play to work," Gerhart said. "It was a great play call for [Atlanta]."
Gerhart had a rough day in his third NFL start. Replacing the injured Adrian Peterson, who missed the game because of a high left ankle sprain, Gerhart was limited to 44 yards on 17 carries (2.6 average). Six of his carries went for no gain and the last one was the 2-yard loss.
Overall, the Vikings averaged a season-low 2.7 yards per carry. Their 64 yards rushing was the second-lowest total of the season behind the 53 they ran for at Chicago.
Had the Vikings been credited with a 65th yard on Harvin's controversial run, who knows what might have happened.
"One of [the officials] ran up to me and he was about to put his hands up for a touchdown, but two from the side came up and said, 'No,'" Harvin said. "So I don't think they got a good look at it."
Frustrated Vikings fans obviously agreed with that.
|Kansas City - WP: J. Vargas||6||FINAL|
|Cleveland - LP: C. Kluber||2|
|Toronto - LP: M. Castro||5||FINAL|
|Boston - WP: K. Uehara||6|
|Tampa Bay - LP: B. Gomes||1||FINAL|
|NY Yankees - WP: J. Wilson||4|
|Washington - LP: D. Fister||4||FINAL|
|Atlanta - WP: E. Stults||8|
|NY Mets - WP: C. Torres||3||FINAL|
|Miami - LP: S. Cishek||1|
|Milwaukee - LP: J. Nelson||6||FINAL|
|Cincinnati - WP: J. Marquis||9|
|Pittsburgh - LP: V. Worley||0||FINAL|
|Chicago Cubs - WP: J. Hammel||4|
|Seattle - WP: T. Walker||3||FINAL|
|Texas - LP: Y. Gallardo||1|
|Detroit - WP: D. Price||5||FINAL|
|Minnesota - LP: T. Milone||4|
|Philadelphia - WP: C. Hamels||4||FINAL|
|St. Louis - LP: J. Lackey||1|
|Colorado - WP: T. Matzek||5||FINAL|
|Arizona - LP: C. Anderson||4|
|Houston - WP: P. Neshek||9||FINAL|
|San Diego - LP: J. Benoit||4|
|San Francisco - LP: T. Lincecum||3||FINAL|
|Los Angeles - WP: C. Frias||8|