We suffered through a mostly forgettable (and sometimes historically bad) day of football on Sunday, but the Vikings and Packers gave us a quality nightcap, a game that featured lead changes and legit playmakers.
Unfortunately, Green Bay's 28-24 win did not lack controversy. Minnesota was repeatedly punished by replay review, prompting head coach Brad Childress to open his postgame press conference with an excoriation of the officials.
"I must not understand (what constitutes a) catch in the end zone, for them to take Shiancoe's off the board. That's not the way it's taught. That's not the way we're told. That goes back to the Tampa Bay game that Tony (Dungy) coached years ago — you control the ball, and it doesn't make any difference if you control it in your hand or forearm. Period. That's not he 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. And there's nobody in this room — if 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."
You can watch the play right here, beginning at the 1:44 mark. Judge for yourself. I'm a relatively impartial observer in this matter — the play didn't impact any of my fantasy match-ups — and I was surprised that thing was even reviewed, let alone reversed. The NBC broadcast team didn't expect the call to be overturned, not that those two are the final arbiters of anything.
But instead of focusing on the Shiancoe non-TD, let's just spend a moment considering Childress' thoughtful suggestion to amend the review process. This blog officially and irrevocably endorses the idea of having 50 drunks decide all matters that require replay. And they don't need to be seated in a bar. Each stadium should probably have a designated area for the 50-person team, with a group of dedicated servers. The opinion of this jury should be the litmus test. Childress has a winning idea here, and the league needs to seize the moment. Let's get this thing done, rules committee.
We begin today's bulleted content with three additional Sunday night notes, because I'd honestly like to forget everything that happened prior to MIN-GB...
"I hope I [play]. It'll be tough to get over this loss, as it's tough to get over any loss. But I've got to find a way to do it. 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."
The stat sheet wasn't especially pretty for Favre (212 yards, TD, 3 INTs), but he demonstrated that his elbow was fully operational. Shame about the ankle.
• Donald Driver(notes) was held without a reception for the first time in forever (139 games, playoffs included). "That's probably the one thing I'm real disappointed in," said Aaron Rodgers(notes) following the game. Driver was dealing with a quad injury that sidelined him throughout the practice week, so don't simply assume that he's a fantasy relic. Still, it's worth noting that James Jones(notes) led the Packers in receiving yards on Sunday (107). As we've mentioned before, Jones would be the No. 1 target on many teams.
• Thousands of fantasy owners no doubt needed just one of those negated Percy Harvin(notes) TDs to count. Harvin lost a pair of scores to the review process, but the correct call was eventually made in both cases. Even without the near-touchdowns, Harvin was useful: 5 receptions, 65 yards, 3 carries, 41 yards, TD.
• Tim Hightower(notes) lost a fumble on Sunday afternoon, his third of the year, and he didn't receive another carry after putting the ball on the ground. "We can't live with that going forward," said head coach Ken Whisenhunt. "Momentum was starting to turn. We were moving the football." With Max Hall(notes) and/or Derek Anderson(notes) at quarterback, the Cards really can't afford turnovers from any other position. Bad news for Hightower is of course good news for Beanie Wells(notes).
• DeAngelo Williams(notes) exited the Panthers' Week 7 win in the fourth quarter due to a foot injury of unknown severity, but it's not believed to be serious, according to the early reports. Dial down the excitement, Stewart loyalists.
• We won't know much about Alex Smith's status until later in the week — he injured his non-throwing shoulder in the loss at Carolina. But on Sunday, we learned that San Francisco's coaching staff is basically terrified of David Carr(notes). Understandable, perhaps. This was the frank assessment by left tackle Joe Staley(notes): "We just couldn't do anything. Yeah, we were one-dimensional." And now the Niners take their unique brand of football to London, where they'll face a Denver squad that just lost at home to the Raiders by 45 points. Enjoy it, Europe. It's our gift to you.
Bonus link: We nearly forgot the Rams Report Card, a Roto Arcade tradition dating back to, um ... 2009. We're gonna need Sam Bradford(notes) to get a signature on this one and return it to his teacher.
Photo via Getty Images