Some of this season’s replay rulings have been criticized by Blandino and Mike Pereira, Blandino’s predecessor with the NFL who also is a Fox rules analyst. Some within the league believe that Riveron has, at times, attempted to re-officiate plays from New York rather than adhering to the intended role of replay and merely correcting obvious mistakes while otherwise allowing the calls made on the field to stand.
The competitive advantage is slight; it provides a head start of a half day or so in making plans and lining up candidates. But there’s probably no going back now, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see some coaching moves made official Sunday night.
The improbable score set off pandemonium at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, where purple-clad fans had appeared set for yet another of the franchise’s brutal postseason defeats. Instead, it was Drew Brees and his shocked teammates, particularly Williams, who will have the offseason and beyond to bemoan a near-certain victory that got away in the final moments.
Adding to the Saints’ misery was the fact that they had staged a terrific comeback just to position themselves for a gut punch. The Vikings had controlled the first half, taking a 17-0 lead, but Brees threw three second-half touchdown passes, two to wide receiver Michael Thomas to take a one-point lead with just over three minutes left in the game.
“I feel like, you know, that’s something that runs through our minds, my mind, especially when you feel like you lost something you should have had,” linebacker Vic Beasley said last week. “You get a chance to play these guys again; you want to give it your best shot.”
Giants receiver Odell Beckham is not expected to see the field on Saturday after suffering an ankle sprain Monday that could reportedly keep him out of action in Week 1 of the regular season. Falcons running back Devonta Freeman is also slated to miss Saturday’s game while recovering from a concussion. It’s unclear if the Texans plan to play DeAndre Hopkins after the receiver missed practice this week.