Exactly one week ago Monday, Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid discussed what he wanted his team to improve upon after the bye. There were some details of fixing the offense that he would not go into, but he did mention penalties.
“We need to take care of those,” said Reid. “They’ve affected us in the field. It’s affected us in the red zone. We need to make sure we clean that up and that’s something we can do. That’s obvious, I think. The other things are smaller and I’m not going to get into those, but if we take care of that we will be better off all the way around. If you get a penalty in this league on a drive then it cuts your percentages of opportunities to score way down. You need to get rid of those.”
And they did — completely and historically — against the Oakland Raiders. The Chiefs took no penalties in the game for the first time since 1974 (the touchdown called back due to offsetting penalties does not count, technically), according to Herbie Teope of The Kansas City Star and the Chiefs public relations staff.
Perspective on #Chiefs not having a penalty today against Raiders and how rare it is: Chiefs have done this just three times in team history. Last time was on Dec. 8, 1974 in a 7-6 loss to Raiders. Before that, Oct. 2, 1966 in a 29-14 loss to Buffalo (h/t @ChiefsPR for the info).— Herbie Teope (@HerbieTeope) December 2, 2019
“I compliment the players on that,” said Reid. “Inevitably they’re the ones out there playing and they did a nice job with it. It was a mindset that they had and it all worked out.”
The Raiders, on the other hand, took 12 penalties for 99 yards.
“The turnovers, penalties were a big part of this game,” said Raiders head coach Jon Gruden “I am not disappointed with the effort of our team, but we got to learn from this and I have to take it upon myself. The penalties and the turnovers are two things that will do you in in big games in December when everything is on the line.”
“The Wizard of Oz”
Gruden was not happy that the official’s replay booth called back a Patrick Mahomes interception in the end zone.
With the Chiefs already leading 24-0 midway through the third quarter, Mahomes threw a pass that was intercepted by cornerback Trayvon Mullen in the end zone. But the replay clearly showed that Mullen interfered with Demarcus Robinson, the intended receiver on the play.
The booth overturned the call and LeSean McCoy ran in a 3-yard touchdown on the next play.
“We had an interception that we felt we did intercept that was turned over by the Wizard of Oz or somebody.” said Gruden. “I do not know what happened on that. That was a big play in the game no doubt.”
Earlier in the game, in the first quarter, Reid lost a pass-interference challenge.
“I mean things happen,” said Reid after the game. “Obviously, I challenged it because I thought we would have a chance, but it didn’t work out and we ended up getting the other one so I’m happy about that.”