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Andy Reid slams officiating for their ‘embarrassing’ offsides penalty call in loss vs. Bills

Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes discuss the controversial penalty at the end of the Chiefs’ Week 14 matchup against the Bills.

Buffalo Bills v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images

For the second week in a row, the Kansas City Chiefs suffered an excruciating last-minute loss, this time in a Week 14 matchup against the Buffalo Bills, 20-17.

While self-inflicted wounds continue to be the common theme of these losses (turnovers, penalties, dropped passes, etc.), this week's matchup ended with a controversial offsides penalty, which ultimately took away Kansas City's miraculous go-ahead touchdown with 1:12 remaining in the game.

"Very disappointed that it ended the way it did," Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said after the game. "I never use any of this as an excuse, but normally, I get a warning before something like that happens in a big game. A bit embarrassing in the National Football League for that to take place."

The officials ruled that Chiefs wide receiver Kadarius Toney was blocking the sight of the ball on the line of scrimmage, thus calling for an offensive offsides penalty. As Reid mentioned, coaches usually get a courtesy warning if a player is lining up offsides on offense.

However, that did not happen in this case, leading to his frustrations after the game.

"Normally, if it's even close, you get a warning," Reid explained. "The head coach gets a warning. So, I don't know, I didn't have a protractor out there, but it's a bit embarrassing."

From a wide receiver's perspective, Chiefs rookie Rashee Rice — who continues to be the bright spot of a disappointing Kansas City wide receiving corps — explained why it was unusual to see an offsides penalty called at that moment.

"Normally, as soon as you line up, you look over to the ref, and they let you know if you need to scoot back or scoot up depending on if you let them know you're on the bar or not," Rice explained. "Not sure exactly what happened on the other side of the ball, but if he was offsides, I'm pretty sure the play would have been dead before we ran it. But we only can control what we can control."

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was probably the most visibly frustrated of all the players on the team. After being held back by teammates and coaches on the sideline, Mahomes vented his frustrations in his postgame presser.

"It's the call in that moment," Mahomes explained. "It's not even for my myself. It's just I know how much everybody puts into this game and for it to happen that the flag changes the outcome of the game in that moment — I've played seven years and never had offensive offsides called. I mean that's elementary school we talk about. You point to the ref, do all different type of stuff, and it doesn't get called. If it does, they warn you, and there was no warning throughout the entire game. And then you wait until there's a minute left in the game to make a call like that? It's tough, man."

Adding to his frustrations was the recent non-call for pass interference against the Green Bay Packers last week. However, Mahomes admits that losing due to a penalty is harder to stomach than a non-call because the players don't get to decide the game's outcome.

"Let us play the game, and then whatever happens, happens," he added. "Like the whole throw in the flag and deciding the game one way or another, that's what hurts me. That's why last week I didn't say anything because it's letting us play. Let us go out there and win the game. Let us play and go out there and see who wins... I just want to go out there and play and then see what happens at the end. See what the score is, and then we could live with the results."

In the end, Mahomes finished the afternoon completing 25 of his 43 pass attempts for 271 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. While All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce was on the receiving end for 83 of his passing yards, Mahomes was most upset by the fact that the offsides penalty took away what would have been another defining play in the future Hall of Fame tight end's career.

"I saw the picture and I mean he (Kadarius Toney) probably is barely offsides," Mahomes said continuing to vent about the late penalty. "But for him to take the game into his hands over a call like that, that doesn't affect the play at all — At all, didn't affect anything. It's just tough. And like I said, that's a Hall of Fame tight end making a Hall of Fame play that won't be shown because we threw a flag on offensive offsides. So, it takes away from not only this game and this season, but from a legendary career that Travis (Kelce) has had. That hurts me because I know how hard he works for it."

The game ultimately goes down as Kansas City's fifth loss of the season, bringing them to two games behind first place in the AFC and one game above the Denver Broncos in the AFC West. That being said, the discourse surrounding this game in the next couple of days will not be about that but about the controversial officiating — something Mahomes bemoans for his team and the NFL in general.

"It's just tough because regardless if we win or lose, just for us to end up with another game and we're talking about the refs," Mahomes lamented. "This is not what we want for the NFL and for football."

It's Game Time.

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