A lot went wrong in the Vikings 34-26 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Kirk Cousins was off all day, two crucial Vikings were injured, and the defense leaked rushing yards at an almost historic pace in the defeat.
Mike Zimmer believes there’s a reason for that last issue. In his postgame press conference Zimmer didn’t pull any punches when addressing the officiating. “These guys hold all the time,” Zimmer said. “They’re grabbing us around the waist, grabbing us on our backs. Officials don’t want to call it every play, but until they start calling it every play, they aren’t going to stop doing it.”
That doesn’t sound like a single game frustration. It sounds like a belief Zimmer has about how the Niners execute their vaunted running game. One that he believes he saw play out again today. Even a casual observer would have a hard time disagreeing with the head coach, as many of the 49ers outside runs seem to be aided with a little bit of extra help.
But the 49ers George Kittle is no casual observer. He responded to Zimmer’s comment in his post game presser. “I finally got a holding call out there in a pass route,” Kittle said. “I got hugged and tackled. There were like three of those out there that don’t get called. It’s football. Refs throw flags, refs don’t throw flags, it’s just the game. If you’re going to sit on the sideline and complain about holding the whole time, then i’d tell your guys to make better plays.”
Yes, it is football and refs throw flags, but to act as though a ref couldn’t possibly have an impact on the style of play or outcome of the game is silly. In the end the frustrations are just that though, as the Niners get the win and are now in a prime position for a playoff push and the Vikings are left to fight it out.