The Kansas City Chiefs were able to squeeze by the New York Jets last Sunday night, 23-20, thanks to a 15-play, 45-yard drive late in the fourth quarter that helped Patrick Mahomes and Co. run out the clock. There was a on that drive that played a large roll in deciding the game.
On a third-and-20, Mahomes dropped back and attempted a pass deep to Marquez Valdes-Scantling. The pass was intercepted by Michael Carter, but there was a flag on the field. Jets star cornerback Sauce Gardner was called for defensive holding. That penalty gave the Chiefs a fresh set of downs, and .
On his "It Needed To Be Said" podcast, former Chiefs wideout Tyreek Hill said that defensive holding penalty was a "50/50" call.
"When the game on the line, you gotta let the players play," Hill said. "It's a good game! It's a good game!"
If you recall in last year's Super Bowl, Mahomes led the Chiefs down to the Eagles' 15-yard-line with 1:54 remaining in the game, which was tied at 35 apiece. Facing a third-and-8, Mahomes attempted a pass to JuJu Smith-Schuster in the left corner of the end zone, but the ball was overthrown. However, there was some yellow laundry on the field. Eagles cornerback James Bradberry was called for holding, which gave the Chiefs a first down.
Interestingly enough, Bradberry didn't rail against the official afterwards. He.
"I pulled on his jersey. They called it. I was hoping they would let it ride," Bradberry said.
The Jets weren't as understanding. In fact, head coach Robert Saleh even picked up an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
"The receiver ran into me, it was a collision," Gardner said about the controversial penalty, via Pro Football Talk. "The same thing that was happening all game. They ain't throw no flags. Pat threw the ball outside of the receiver, MC was there. He made the play and then the ref threw the flag. To me, personally, that's like when you play basketball one-on-one and you go up to lay the ball up and you wait to see if you miss and then call the foul. I can't believe that, that was just crazy. I don't even think they threw the ball my way, at me, the first three quarters. And then they started throwing checkdowns, and the shot they take to get going, they get bailed out by that. Fourth quarter, crunch time, I don't even know what to say."
Hill is correct in saying that this is close to a 50/50 call, and a call that is magnified considering the situation. This decision negated a turnover and gave an automatic first down to a team trying to run out the clock in enemy territory.