When Patrick Mahomes was hit late, the penalty set up the Kansas City Chiefs for the game-winning 45-yard field goal.
However, with some controversial officiating throughout the night, the call has come with some scrutiny not only among fans, but NFL coaches as well.
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In fact, an NFL coach says Mahomes sold the hit in order to get the extra yards.
“That is what the owners want, $40 million skill players flopping on the ground,” and NFC defensive coach told The Athletic, “drawing fouls from chemistry teachers, medical device salesmen and the like.”
The coach was referring to the fact that NFL referees are actually part-time employees by the league. Retired official Ed Houchili is an attorney, a career he held throughout his entire refereeing career — his son, Shawn, is a wealth management advisor when he's not officiating games.
Mahomes was tackled by Joseph Ossai at the Bengals' 42-yard line, but the penalty cost Cincinnati 15 yards.
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Had the refs eaten the whistle, the Chiefs would have had eight seconds to attempt to get closer (or go for a 60-yarder). Instead, they were right in field goal range, and Harrison Butker drilled it.
The kick sent the Chiefs to their third Super Bowl in four years, and they improved to 3-2 in their last five AFC Championships – all of which they have hosted since 2019.
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Kansas City will face the Philadelphia Eagles on Feb. 12 in Glendale, Arizona, in Super Bowl LVII.