NFL Says Bobby Wagner Should Have Been Penalized on Field-Goal Block vs. Vikings

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorDecember 14, 2018

FILE - In this Monday, Dec. 10, 2018, file photo, Seattle Seahawks' Bobby Wagner (54) raises his fist after stopping Minnesota Vikings' Latavius Murray on a fourth down run in the second half of an NFL football game in Seattle. Wagner, making a hefty statement for NFL Defensive Player of the Year, seeks his eighth straight game with at least eight tackles. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear, File)
Stephen Brashear/Associated Press

The NFL said Friday that Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner committed an uncalled leverage penalty on a field-goal block against the Minnesota Vikings on Monday.

Per Kevin Seifert of ESPN.com, "Replays showed Wagner putting his hands on the players positioned on both sides of him as he jumped."

Wagner made the block with 5:46 remaining in the game and his team up 6-0. Seattle scored a touchdown on its ensuing drive en route to a 21-7 home win.

While a successful field goal wouldn't have given Minnesota the lead, it would have changed the momentum in this low-scoring game.

Minnesota would have been down just 6-3, and Seattle would've gotten the ball in (presumably) worse field position following the kickoff. If Minnesota had been able to make up that three-point deficit and win, the Vikings would have jumped ahead of Seattle in the wild-card standings.

However, Seattle is now 8-5 and almost assured of the first NFC wild-card spot, while the 6-6-1 Vikings are hanging on to the second NFC wild card for dear life over four teams within a game of them.

While it isn't ideal that the referees made an error on the play, the Vikings ultimately have no one to blame but themselves for the loss.

The offense couldn't get anything going and didn't score until there was 1:10 left in the fourth quarter. The line didn't play well and allowed seven quarterback hits (including two sacks) of signal-caller Kirk Cousins, who averaged just 6.3 yards per pass attempt. And the running game managed only 77 yards on 21 carries.

Their biggest challenge is figuring out their offensive issues under new offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski, who replaced John DeFilippo after Monday's loss.

Minnesota has a chance to right the ship Sunday in a 1 p.m. ET home game against the Miami Dolphins. The Seattle Seahawks face the San Francisco 49ers on the road Sunday at 4:05 p.m. ET.

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