It was quite an accomplishment for the team without Joe Burrow. They have really embraced winning these games by any means necessary.
However, on Sunday, a game-altering play was wiped away, but should it have been?
Linebacker Germaine Pratt was able to intercept a wide receiver screen pass and return it all the way for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. The only problem? It appeared that pass rusher Trey Hendrickson jumped early and was called for offsides. It completely negated the play.
It was a huge play that would have given Cincinnati a 24-17 lead, as the game was tied at that time with roughly six and a half minutes remaining in the game. Minnesota went on to score a touchdown on the drive, and the Bengals overcame it.
But should the flag have been thrown? This slowed-down and zoomed-in look puts that in doubt.
Terrible “Offsides” call against Trey Hendrickson on that key pick six in the 4th quarter of the the Vikings vs. Bengals game.— Scott Simpson (@NimblewNumbers) December 16, 2023
I slowed down the video and you and clearly see that Hendrickson moves when the ball moves, he’s just so fast he fooled the NFL part-time line judge pic.twitter.com/Zp5jOefGzo
You could easily make the argument that Hendrickson was able to go as the center was snapping the ball. It may have looked early because he was the first to move among everyone in the trenches, but it doesn’t look like he entered the neutral zone before the center started moving the ball for the snap.
Offside penalties have been in the news lately after Kansas City Chiefs' Kadarius Toney lined up offsides on offense prior to tight end Travis Kelce lateraling him the ball for a go-ahead touchdown against the Buffalo Bills a couple of weeks ago. They weren’t able to overcome that call.
That call was an obvious one that Kansas City wasn’t able to overcome. This one was more on the questionable side, but it didn’t matter because Cincinnati overcame it and won the game anyway.
Whether it was or wasn’t offside, this team proved that sometimes you just have to be able to move on and overcome adversity.