A lot has been made in the short time since a man threw a simple yellow flag to the ground. Philadelphia Eagles cornerback James Bradberry was called for holding with 1:54 in the fourth quarter and the Kansas City Chiefs facing a crucial 3rd and 8.
The penalty not only moved the Chiefs up four yards. But more importantly it gave them a fresh set of downs. The Eagles had one timeout remaining – and would use it on the next play – but the games fate was theoretically sealed.
All Kansas City had to do was run the clock down as far as they could, kick a field goal, and watch the confetti fly. And that’s exactly how it played out.
Bradberry admitted after the game what he did was a penalty. Greg Olsen, calling the game on Fox, didn’t agree that the flag should have been thrown.
It wasn’t that the play wasn’t illegal, it was the timing of the flag that he didn’t like. Unfortunately, that’s a piss poor argument, whether you’re an Eagles fan or not.
It there was a penalty on the play, the ref has an obligation to call it. Whether it’s the first play or last one of the game.
I agree it sucks that a penalty can be a major deciding factor in how a game ends. No one wants to see a team win because a flimsy penalty was called. Which is what happened last night.
Penalty Ended the Game
All penalties count in the box score and impact the game in some way. A holding call in the first quarter is the same as one in the fourth. But we can’t act like this penalty did not directly impact the outcome of the game.
If Bradberry gets away with the hold, the Chiefs have to kick a field goal with nearly two minutes left. That’s a lot of time, plus a timeout, for the Eagles to get within field goal range.
Eagles kicker Jake Elliot hit 87 percent of his field goal attempts on the season. He was 5-for-6 from 50+ yards. Those are some good odds he could make it if given the chance.
Yes, the Eagles still have to get him in range to attempt a field goal. But they didn’t even get that opportunity due to the penalty.
It’s similar to how the Chiefs ended up in the Super Bowl when the Cincinnati Bengals player hit Patrick Mahomes out of bounds.
Coaches will say the right things. That one play isn’t the reason the Eagles lost. And that’s mostly true. Kansas City won the game because they couldn’t be stopped in the second half.
Their Super Bowl experience and superior quarterback led them in the second half. It wasn’t a penalty that came in the games 58th minute that gave them the boost they needed. They had already taken control of the game.
But that penalty did seal the Eagles’ fate. It was the final nail in their coffin. As much as most of us hated to see that flag hit the ground, it had to be thrown.