That number includes an illegal hands to the face penalty on cornerback L’Jarius Sneed that allowed the Bengals to run the clock out before the game-winning field goal, but it doesn’t include an offsetting holding call on the previous play that would have gone down as a failed fourth-down try by Cincinnati.
After the game, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid was asked about the penalties.
“I’d like to comment on each one, but I don’t want to be fined,” Reid said, via Sam McDowell of the Kansas City Star.
All three games will be divisional tilts with playoff implications.
B - Chiefs
For a minute there, the Chiefs looked like they were going to run away with this game. After an initial three-and-out to begin the day, they recorded four-straight touchdown drives that had them up 28-14 at one point in the first half. The K.C. defense was able to pressure Joe Burrow and it appeared like they were going to continue to have a firm grasp of the No. 1 seed. However, they collapsed in the second half as they managed just three points over the final two quarters and allowed the Bengals to drop 17 en-route to the victory. The Chiefs had no answer for Ja’Marr Chase, who totaled three touchdowns in the win. Andy Reid’s team also had a crushing penalty on the final drive that gave Cincinnati a new set of downs after they failed to convert a fourth-and-goal play. Had they played it clean there, they would have kept the game tied at 31 and either forced overtime or had a couple of deep shot attempts with 50 seconds left in regulation.
“If you’re going to play him one-on-one, a lot of times it’s going to be a long day for you,” Burrow said of Chase. “He’s a great player and he’s going to be a great player for a long time.”
Chase said, “Everything is overwhelming right now. I’m excited but overwhelmed.”
Projected wild card matchups
(No. 1 Titans on bye)
No. 7 Chargers at No. 2 Chiefs
No. 6 Colts at No. 3 Bengals
No. 5 Patriots at No. 4 Bills
Kansas City needs to learn from this game tape, and then burn it. The Chiefs had rattled off eight straight wins by playing complementary football, turning around a once-porous defense and finding their stride offensively. It looked to be more of the same early Sunday, but as the game progressed, it grew uglier for the Chiefs’ secondary. Rashad Fenton was flagged for untimely pass interference calls twice, and Ward was repeatedly victimized by Chase, while the Chiefs also failed to prevent key completions to Tyler Boyd. An illegal use of hands (to the face) penalty on L’Jarius Sneed ended up dooming the Chiefs, capping an ugly day for their defense, which gave up 475 yards of total offense and blew a 28-14 lead. It’s teaching tape, and then it’ll be tape to forget for the Chiefs, who simply can’t afford to play defense like this in the postseason.
Around the NFL
Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown erupted in frustration on the visitors sideline at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, leaving the field in the third quarter with coach Bruce Arians proclaiming after the game that he is no longer a member of the team.
“He is no longer a Buc,” Arians said after the Buccaneers’ 28-24 victory over the New York Jets. “That’s the end of the story. Let’s talk about the guys that went out there and won the game.”
When asked for more details on what led to Brown’s departure, Arians said, “I’m not talking about him. He’s no longer part of the Bucs.”
The Cowboys lost to the Cardinals 25-22, injuring their playoff seeding, and were flagged 10 times for 88 yards by Scott Novak’s crew, including four offensive holding penalties that negated two first-down runs.
“It’s just we couldn’t get a rhythm,” wide receiver CeeDee Lamb said. “The refs wouldn’t let us get a rhythm.”
Added defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence: “I’m gonna let the NFL handle that. I know it’s a possibility we see both of these teams in the playoffs. You know hopefully the NFL can sit down with their team, review the film, learn from their mistakes and get better from it.”
Why the Raiders won
Big plays from the Raiders’ offense and special teams ultimately doomed the Colts. Las Vegas was set up in good field position with a few returns. The offense produced three plays of 20-plus yards. Those big moments allowed the team to overcome two Derek Carr interceptions and a relatively ineffective ground game. Josh Jacobs got off to a good start but came up hobbled after one play and that summed up their rushing efforts.
Temperatures were hovering around freezing in Cincinnati on Sunday for the Chiefs’ Week 17 game against the Bengals, so it made plenty of sense for Kansas City to have space heaters on the sideline.
After all, nobody wants to stand in the cold for three-plus hours. But one Chiefs staffer learned the hard way about how close he should stand to one of those heaters.
During the first half, the CBS broadcast pointed out that the white, flake-like debris floating around the field wasn’t actually snow. Instead, it was feathers from a Chiefs staffer’s coat. He stood a bit too close to the space heater, and, well, this was the aftermath.
The coat caught fire and left a feathery mess around the Chiefs’ bench.
Thankfully, everyone seemed fine. He’ll just need a new coat and to exercise some caution around those space heaters. Those heaters are no joke.
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
Steve Spagnuolo: The Chiefs defense, which had been outstanding for a huge stretch of this season, had one job on Sunday — contain the big plays from Burrow to Ja’marr Chase and the Bengals receivers — and it couldn’t get it done: Time and time again, they brought pressure, often successfully affecting Burrow, but leaving defensive backs one-on-one with Chase proved to be a huge mistake. At some point, they had to see that Chase was unstoppable without bracket coverage. But the Chiefs didn’t make that adjustment. The defense also had a barrage of penalties (yes, many were poor calls) that extended drives and gave the Bengals more opportunities. The team needed a big play to stop the Bengals’ momentum in the second half, but they couldn’t force any turnovers either. All in all, it was a tough day for the Chiefs defense and its coordinator.
A tweet to make you think
Joe Burrow has said 3 times "we got some calls". He knows.— Tom Childs (@tomchilds56) January 2, 2022