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Travis Kelce's controversial fumble ends Chiefs chances in loss to Cardinals

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Was Travis Kelce's fumble really a fumble?

The Kansas City Chiefs were done when the refs ruled that Travis Kelce fumbled the ball at the Cardinals 22-yard line with five minutes left and the Chiefs trailing 17-14. We knew their offense wasn't going to get the ball again and successfully execute a two minute drill.

So the game basically came down to that play and that call from the referees. Kelce caught a pass on third and four with about five minutes left in the game. After his catch he rumbled down to the Cardinals 22-yard line for a 19-yard gain. The Chiefs were trailing 17-14 so this was a huge play.

Except before the Chiefs lined up to run their next play, the Cardinals challenged the play. They argued that Kelce fumbled the ball at the end of the catch and the Cardinals recovered. The CBS commentators and ref analysis Mike Carey all seemed to agree that this was not a fumble and the call on the field would stand, giving the Chiefs a first and 10 on the 22-yard line.

The referees came back and ... overturned the call! They ruled that Kelce fumbled the ball as he was tackled. This part I agree with. The replays show that the ball was coming out before he hit the ground.

So he fumbled it. But did the Cardinals clearly recover the ball? That's where I have a problem with the referees call. Kelce appears to grab the ball as he rolls over and he's on the ground so I would assume he's down. That's obviously not how the refs saw it.

I'm not a ref expert but Fox's Mike Pereira is. He has this to say:

Bottom line: there needs to be clear evidence to overturn a call and I don't think there was here. I think you can argue that maybe Kelce didn't have it and the Cardinals recovered but that is not close to being clear so I don't think it should have been overturned.