MINNEAPOLIS -- Many of you are asking why referee Mike Carey didn't employ the "Jim Schwartz rule" here at the Metrodome after Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy challenged a turnover late in the third quarter. That includes two Minnesota Vikings executives who descended into the press box here to question replay official Dale Hamer.
As you might recall, Schwartz scuttled his chances of a getting a touchdown reviewed -- and overturned -- during a Thanksgiving Day game against the Houston Texans because he challenged a scoring play. NFL rules call for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty against coaches who challenge plays like touchdowns and turnovers, which are automatically reviewed, and in Schwartz's case the ensuing delay of game eliminated the possibility of a review.
Why didn't McCarthy's challenge eliminate a review on James Jones' apparent fumble? According to Carey, the replay official had already buzzed down to initiate the review. That means there could be no delay of game call against McCarthy, but he did get a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
Vikings general manager Rick Spielman and vice president Rob Brzezinski both discussed the issue with Hamer in the press box before order was restored. The review gave the Packers a touchdown and brought them to within 27-24 as the fourth quarter began.