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Ridiculous roughing call on Kirk Cousins sack sets up Vikings' game-winning TD

Jason Owens
·1-min read

It’s a good thing a playoff spot didn’t hinge on this game.

The Minnesota Vikings edged the Detroit Lions on Sunday, 37-35 on Sunday thanks in large part to a terrible roughing the passer penalty.

Trailing 31-29 with 11:18 remaining, the Vikings faced fourth-and-goal at the 1-yard line. Kirk Cousins dropped back on a play-action pass and was immediately sacked by safety Tracy Walker.

It was a clean hit to Cousins’ torso that didn’t involve a blow to the head or Walker using his body weight to drive Cousins into the turf. Officials threw the flag anyway.

Roughing the passer. First-and-goal Vikings.

Vikings convert second chance into touchdown

Two plays later, Cousins snuck in a touchdown and led a Vikings dance party in the end zone.

After the game, referee Adrian Hill defended the call:

The touchdown gave the Vikings a 37-29 lead and proved to be the winning score as the Lions failed to convert a game-tying two-point attempt after a touchdown later in the quarter. Both teams had long been eliminated from the postseason, so the only bigger-picture impact of the roughing call and Vikings win involves draft positioning.

Imagine if a call like that would have knocked a team out of the playoffs.

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) and teammates react after Cousins' touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)
Kirk Cousins wasn't mad at the roughing call. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)

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