San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle answered back to Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer’s postgame comments about missed penalties.
A look at the Minnesota Vikings’ 5-6 record reveals that this NFC North team alternates wins and losses just about every week.
Their most recent meeting against the San Francisco 49ers resulted in a 26-34 loss, which put the Vikings back at a losing record.
Losing a game is never easy, but Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer refused to concede that the 49ers won on their own merit.
After the loss, Zimmer took the podium to discuss the game. Rather than take responsibility for his team’s shortcomings, Zimmer blamed the 8-point deficit on poor officiating.
“The other ones were the fact these guys hold all the time, so they are grabbing us around the waist, grabbing our backs, and you know officials, they don’t want to call it every play,” Zimmer said. “Until they start calling it every play, they’re not going to stop doing it.”
Both the Vikings and 49ers drew five penalty flags each, with the Vikings drawing 38 penalty yards compared to 57 for the 49ers.
Believing in the fairness of their game, 49ers tight end George Kittle chalked up any missed penalties to the physical nature of the game, detailing how he finally got one holding call after several others were missed.
“I think there were three of those out there that didn’t get called; that’s football,” Kittle said. “Refs throw flags, refs don’t throw flags, it’s just the game. If you’re gonna sit on the sideline and complain about holding the whole time, then tell your guys to make better plays.”
George Kittle calls out Mike Zimmer for referee complaint
To Kittle’s point, Zimmer’s guys on defense haven’t been making the best plays all season.
Before Sunday, the Vikings defense ranked among the bottom of NFL teams at 27th in run defense DVOA, according to Football Outsiders. Their 4.8 yards per carry allowed through 10 games was the second-worst in the league.
Whether or not the referees missed one or two calls does not account for the Vikings’ lackluster defense, which allowed 208 rushing yards on Sunday.