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Joseph Ossai’s late hit on Patrick Mahomes in the final seconds of the AFC Championship game was just that, late, but one NFC coach doesn’t exactly see it that way. He accused Mahomes of flopping on the play and drew the penalty.
“That is what the owners want, $40 million skill players flopping on the ground, drawing fouls from [part-time officials who double as] chemistry teachers, medical device salesmen and the like,” an NFC defensive coach told Mike Sando of The Athletic.
With the game tied at 20-20 with just 17 seconds left in regulation, Mahomes scrambled out of the pocket to the Bengal’s 42-yard line. As the Kansas City quarterback was well out of bounds, Ossai shoved Mahomes in the back which resulted in an unnecessary roughness penalty moving the ball to the 27-yard line.
Mahomes picked up the first down on the play, but with just eight seconds left the Chiefs would have likely only had one more play to improve on their field position. If Kansas City elected to attempt a field goal on the next play it would have been close to a 60-yard attempt. With the flag, the game-winner turned into a 45-yarder.
In this case, two things can be true at once.
READ: BENGALS’ BJ HILL STANDS BESIDE JOSEPH OSSAI, DEFENDS EMOTIONAL TEAMMATE AFTER LATE HIT ON PATRICK MAHOMES IN AFC TITLE GAME
Mahomes certainly added his own flare to the play and you could certainly accuse him of flopping with the flailing of the arms after falling to the turf, but the hit was undoubtedly a late one.
The officials may have had a terrible outing before the game-defying play, but they got the call right with the unnecessary roughness penalty late in the game. It sounds like the anonymous NFC coach has more of a gripe with the officiating crew than the actual play itself.
Follow Mark Harris on Twitter @ItIsMarkHarris