Saints Screwed by Referees During Vikings Fourth Quarter TD Drive

Minnesota Vikings v New Orleans Saints
Minnesota Vikings v New Orleans Saints / Justin Setterfield/GettyImages

The New Orleans Saints took a fourth-quarter lead against the Minnesota Vikings in London on Sunday thanks to a Taysom Hill touchdown run. The Vikings received the ball with just less than 10 minutes to play and trailing by a field goal. The Saints' defense was all over Kirk Cousins, yet he still managed to take the Minnesota offense down the field and scored a touchdown to make the score 25-22.

But he did not do it alone. The referees were a big help in the Vikings' quest to take back the lead. It was actually remarkable how they got bailed out multiple times on the same drive.

The Saints forced the Vikings into a third and 3 on their first series. Minnesota barely converted and then got some free yards off an iffy holding call on Bradley Roby. A few plays later the Vikings found themselves in yet another third-down situation, this time needing a full 10 yards to convert. Cousins threw an incomplete pass-- but was saved by a very questionable illegal contact penalty on Tyrann Mathieu.

But that was not the worst call of the drive. No, that came shortly thereafter. Cousins and the offense found themselves in a third-and-long situation yet again on the very next series. Cousins heaved up a deep pass to Adam Thielen that fell incomplete. But the refs threw multiple flags for defensive pass interference, and missed Thielen grabbing the facemask of Marshon Lattimore.

For those keeping track at home, that's two free first downs gifted to Minnesota. And, depending on how you look at it, a go-ahead touchdown, since the Vikings got a first down at the one-yard line following the above penalty and immediately scored to take the lead.

Not great!