On Saturday, the Titans marched into Arrowhead in Kansas City, Missouri as the underdogs against a 12-4 Chiefs team, under harsh circumstances that included 18 degree Fahrenheit weather, which both teams had to endure throughout the entire game.
The Ryan Tannehill-led Titans (yes, that Ryan Tannehill) jumped out a 10-0 lead, before being down 21-17 at the half following an unbelievable rushing touchdown from KC quarterback Patrick Mahomes. By the time the game was finished, the Chiefs return to the Super Bowl for the first time since Super Bowl IV in 1969.
The entire game was filled with iffy officiating, but the more the game progressed, the blatant it got. During the fourth quarter, for example, the referees threw a flag on the field as the ball was snapped.
Even Pat McAfee, former Pro Bowler with the Colts, was scratching his head on Twitter. This penalty went as holding, the moment the ball snapped. Granted, it does seem like there could’ve been a case of illegal formation (which obviously, holding would override this), but that wasn’t the call on the field. The holding was called on #71, Dennis Kelly, but the flag was already thrown before he even made contact with anybody.
This is a 4 point game. In the playoffs. For a trip to the Super Bowl. The Titans, down 4, had 3 and 1. You call a non-existent holding and penalize them yards, it will alter the game dramatically. That first down could’ve turned into a touchdown drive to give them the lead.
The next thing I want to cover is that you can’t have an NFL playoff game without a controversial pass interference call, can you? Only this time, in no way was it defensive pass interference solely because Pat Mahomes underthrew the football. Here is what former D1 lineman and journalist for the Kansas City Star, Jason Whitlock, chimed in with.
Here, however, is a video of it. The pass interference call was on cornerback Tramaine Brock Sr., who was covering wide receiver Tareek Hill. Hill, one of the NFLs premiere offensive standouts, was man to man with Brock, who had incidental contact as he was turning around. You can see the video below:
Being that Brock was turning around to make a play on the ball and Hill jumped into him, Brock did not break the rules of the game, and therefore it was not pass interference.
While these were really the only “calls” that proved major in deciding the game, there’s also a number of non-calls that altered the game in a big way. For example, the aforementioned run by Pat Mahomes that made it 21-14 at the end of the half was a non-call.
Look at the obvious facemask. It was pretty much every play, too, late. Mahomes had around 30 seconds in the pocket every time, and according to the referees, nobody is holding. That alone is a headscratcher before you even go back to look at the footage of what actually transpired. Towards the end of the game, Sammy Watkins scored a dagger touchdown in which he threw Tramaine Brock to the ground. That was called on Tramaine Brock. There was also a helmet on helmet spot with Tannehill that wasn’t called.
The shoddy officiating after the Titans went up early wasn’t even trying to be hidden. The NFL obviously had an agenda here and went full force with it once that agenda was in jeopardy. What was the agenda? I’m not sure. But the Chiefs, according to the media, are such a better football team. The Chiefs have at least 3 explosive, generational offensive talents in Kelce, Hill and Mahomes on their squad, with an arguably better defense. The Chiefs did not need these calls to win the game, and if they did, then maybe they just aren’t that good and that’s why they haven’t won the last 5 years when they were supposed to.
The agenda, in my opinion, is likely that the NFL wants a rematch of Super Bowl 1 for its 100th anniversary. We’ll find out tonight, because the Chiefs and Packers played in the first Super Bowl. The Packers have a chance to go, but have to beat the seemingly unstoppable force in the SF 49ers.
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