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Chiefs rue no-call, but 'they're letting guys play'

Written by 
Published in Breaking News
Monday, 04 December 2023 00:35

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Kansas City Chiefs saw the end of Sunday night's game devolve into chaos, with the final 1:09 featuring an unnecessary roughness penalty, a fumble recovery that was overturned, an ejection and a controversial pass interference non-call.

When it was all said and done, Kansas City -- needing a touchdown and a 2-point conversion to force overtime -- instead saw Patrick Mahomes' pass into the end zone on the final play knocked away, as the Green Bay Packers held on for a 27-19 win.

The Chiefs, hoping to tie the Baltimore Ravens and Miami Dolphins for the best record in the AFC, instead fell to 8-4 following their third loss in five outings.

In what was a talking point in the Chiefs locker room afterward, officials elected not to throw a flag for interference as Packers defensive back Carrington Valentine appeared to be draped over Chiefs wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling on a deep pass from Mahomes on a first-and-10 from the 50-yard line. Had the penalty been called, it would have put the Chiefs inside the Green Bay 10-yard line with 14 seconds remaining.

Valdes-Scantling said after the game he asked the official why there was no penalty.

"He didn't even acknowledge me," Valdes-Scantling said.

Asked whether it was a penalty, Valdes-Scantling replied, "I was trying to get the ball and ended up on the ground. I don't know what they saw, but I tried to catch it and didn't have an opportunity."

Mahomes would eventually get his team into Packers territory, but the Chiefs stalled out at the Green Bay 33, with Mahomes' final four pass attempts all landing incomplete.

"Obviously, the guy was probably a little early, but at the end of the game, they're letting guys play," Mahomes said about no penalty being called on the pass to Valdes-Scantling. "I'm kind of about that. I rather you let the guys play and let the guys win on the field, but it's hard.

"I can't be wanting a flag. I have to try to go out there and win the game myself and with the rest of my teammates."

Referee Brad Allen, asked about the play after the game, said in a pool report that "on every play where there may or may not be pass interference, either offensive or defensive, the covering official has to rule whether contact materially restricts the receiver. And in this case, the covering officials were in good position and ruled that there was no material restriction that rose to the level of defensive pass interference."

Earlier on the drive, Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco was ejected from the game and penalized 15 valuable yards for taking a swing at a Packers player.

"You can't do that," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said afterward. "You have to stay composed."

Mahomes acknowledged the penalty hurt the Chiefs but said he appreciated Pacheco's energy.

"I love the fire from [Pacheco]," Mahomes said. "That gets us going as an offense. Obviously, you got a flag in this situation, but I mean we were already in a bad situation, so I mean I never want to take the passion away from a guy. He'll learn from it. I'm sure he won't make that mistake again, but that's the stuff that we need on this team in order to have the success that we want to have."

The Chiefs' chaotic final drive began with Green Bay defensive back Jonathan Owens being penalized for hitting Mahomes as he was going out of bounds on a 10-yard run, a personal foul that put the ball at Green Bay's 45-yard line.

"In my mind, I just wanted to hit him before he went out of bounds to try and knock him back to keep the clock rolling," Owens said. "It was under a minute, I believe, so just keep the clock running, just try to make a team play. If you can get a legal hit on a quarterback, take it every chance you get.

"I knew it was legal."

Kansas City wideout Rashee Rice then appeared to fumble, with Green Bay's Corey Ballentine returning it 68 yards for what would have been a game-sealing touchdown. But replay showed that Rice was down before the ball came loose, so the Chiefs retained possession.

ESPN's Rob Demovsky contributed to this report.

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