Neither party is likely to be satisfied anytime soon.
A questionable pass interference penalty on Bodden put Minnesota's woeful offense in position for a 26-yard field goal by Ryan Longwell with nine seconds left that lifted the Vikings to a 12-10 victory Sunday, keeping the Lions winless on the season.
The lack of success offensively against a team that had allowed 36.7 points a game led thousands of Metrodome fans to chant "Fire Childress!" throughout the second half. Coach Brad Childress's team still has managed to win two in a row to move into a tie for first place with Chicago in the NFC North.
"It's just a weird dynamic right now," Vikings linebacker Ben Leber said. "I understand the fans are frustrated, but we're getting wins. They may not be as pretty as some of them were in the past, but we're getting wins."
Detroit (0-5) outplayed the Vikings in the kind of spirited effort that has been lacking all season, but the Vikings (3-3) got a boost from at least two calls by the officials.
Trailing 10-9 with 2:22 to play, the Vikings had a second-and-20 from their 32. Gus Frerotte threw deep down the sideline for Aundrae Allison, and the ball fell incomplete. But field judge Mike Weir whistled Bodden for pass interference despite what appeared to be minimal contact.
"I hope we get an apology, but that's not going to get us a win," Bodden said. "And that really took us away from getting the 'W' today."
The 42-yard penalty gave the Vikings the ball at the Detroit 26. Longwell converted the kick five plays later to avoid what would have been a damaging loss for a team that has designs on making the playoffs.
"The defender played through the back of the receiver," referee Tony Corrente said.
Earlier in the quarter, Dan Orlovsky threw a pretty pass down the seam to Calvin Johnson for a 32-yard gain, but Darren Sharper and Leber crunched the receiver at the end of it and the ball came loose. Leber scooped up the ball and Detroit coach Rod Marinelli challenged the play.
Replays appeared to show Johnson hitting the ground before the ball came out, but Corrente upheld the ruling. So instead of the Lions having the ball deep in Vikings territory with a chance to pad a 10-9 lead, the Vikings were awarded possession.
"The question is, 'Was the ball coming out or was he firmly in control of the ball?"' Corrente said. "It's impossible to tell. It's not indisputable that his knee was on the ground with control of the ball; therefore, I have to go with the call."
It's been that kind of season -- that kind of existence, really -- for one of the most hapless franchises in professional sports.
The Lions haven't won a game since last December, and weren't even competitive in four previous losses in a season that has already seen the dismissal of team president Matt Millen.
"You do feel helpless," Bodden said of the calls. "You just ask yourself why, or what were they thinking?"
Making the first start of his career, Orlovsky threw for 150 yards and a touchdown for Detroit, which lost for the 11th time in a row in the Metrodome. His blunder in the first quarter when he ran out of bounds in the end zone for a safety proved critical in a close game.
"Just a dumb play by me," he said.
Johnson had four catches for 85 yards, and he leaped into the end zone for a 12-yard TD that put the Lions up 10-2 in the third quarter.
But Frerotte threw an 86-yard TD pass to Bernard Berrian, who had five catches for 131 yards, to get it to 10-9.
Kevin Williams had four of the team's six sacks and the Vikings defense once again carried the load for an offense that just hasn't gotten going this season.
"This game should've been a blowout," Berrian said.
Frerotte finished with 296 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Adrian Peterson rushed for 111 yards, but lost two fumbles, and the offense has still not scored more than two touchdowns in a game this season. After a quarterback change in Week 3, the focus of the fans' ire is squarely on Childress.
"I don't hear all that stuff now," the coach said of the chants. "I'm working."
Peterson said the blame lies with the players, not the coach.
"That's crazy. Coach Childress, he does a great job leading us," Peterson said. "I wouldn't want any other guy to be leading us right now."
- Peterson had his left hand wrapped after the game, but said it was nothing serious.
- Berrian has posted two straight 100-yard games, the first Vikings receiver to do that since Nate Burleson in December 2004.
- Lions DE Jared DeVries blocked a 38-yard field goal attempt by Longwell in the fourth quarter.
- Rudi Johnson started at RB for the Lions and had 38 yards on 17 carries.