KANSAS CITY, MO — The Cincinnati Bengals were hurt by penalties in their loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Sunday night’s AFC Championship game at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri, according to our news partner WCPO in Cincinnati.
The Chiefs won, 23-20, on a Harrison Butker 45-yard field goal with three seconds left.
The Bengals were penalized nine times for 71 yards, including multiple times in the fourth quarter.
The game was tied at 20-20 with over 10 minutes remaining. Cincinnati appeared to have stopped Kansas City after a completed pass on third down by Patrick Mahomes to tight end Travis Kelce was stopped short of the first down, which would have prompted a fourth down and forcing the Chiefs to punt.
The officials blew a dead ball after the Bengals thought they had stopped the Chiefs’ drive. Video replay showed a line judge did indeed rush in to waive off the play before the snap because the clock was running when it should not had been.
Following the the sideline confusion and back-and-forth with the refs, the Chiefs were awarded a third down a do-over.
The Bengals thought they had supposedly stopped them again after sacking Mahomes but cornerback Eli Apple was called for a defensive holding penalty. Cincinnati did stop the Chiefs and they eventually punted.
After the game, Bengals wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase tweeted, “3 3rd and 9?”
After Joe Burrow threw an interception later in the fourth quarter, Bengals cornerback Mike Hilton was called for pass interference at the 4:59 minute mark as Mahomes was attempting to pass to Marquez Valdes-Scantling on 2nd-and-2. The Chiefs were awarded a first down at Kansas City’s 37-yard line.
After an unsuccessful third down conversion, the Chiefs punted back to the Bengals with 2:36 left in the game.
With 1:27 left in the game, Burrow received a late and controversial intentional grounding penalty, which forced the Bengals to 3rd-and-16 at the Cincinnati 10-yard line. Taylor was visibly upset with refs at the grounding call, arguing Samaje Perine was in the vicinity of the ball.
While Burrow was able to connect with Hurst for a first down, he was then sacked on 3rd-and-8 at the Cincinnati 35 giving the Chiefs the ball with 41 seconds left in the game.
On the last drive of the game, Bengals defensive end Joseph Ossai was called for unnecessary roughness after pushing Mahomes out-of-bounds. The penalty advanced the Chiefs 15 yards. On the very next play, Harrison Butker kicked the game-winning field goal giving the Chiefs the 23-20 win.
“Any play that people feel that’s left out there, you’re gonna take it hard,” Taylor said. “Joseph comes to work every day, man. He loves ball, he loves being a part of this team, and it didn’t come down to that play.”
Kansas City will play Philadelphia in the Super Bowl on February 12 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona at 6:30 p.m.
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