Football

Chiefs lose … what an embarrassment

There must be something missing in the NFL rulebook. A disclaimer needs to appear to clear up the nonsense over the silly offsides penalty that cost the Kansas City Chiefs a win Sunday against the Buffalo Bills.

It could go like this:

“If one of these rules is broken in the closing seconds of a game and would cost the offending team a victory, that violation must be ignored.”

Patrick Mahomes says so, as does Mahomes’ coach, Andy Reid.

And not only did the offside call on Chiefs receiver Kadarius Toney clinch the Bills’ a 20-17 win, it poured a bucket of ice water on a dazzling play that should be part of every NFL highlight reel through eternity.

Mahomes hit Travis Kelce with a pass. Kelce, realizing there was not a chance in the world that he would avoid getting tackled, threw a perfect spiral back to Toney, who went into the end zone for a touchdown … or so it seemed.

A penalty flag rested near the line of scrimmage. That would be the line of scrimmage on which Toney lined up for the snap. That would also be the line behind which offensive players must position themselves.

Toney planted himself squarely on that line, in the area known as the neutral zone. 

If a defensive player lines up in the neutral zone, it is a penalty, be it on the first play of the game or the last.

Don’t try arguing that with the coach or the quarterback of the Kansas City Chiefs.

Their logic is simple: You can’t let something like that decide an NFL game. It’s an embarrassment to the league, an embarrassment to all of football, and a disgrace to humanity. Or something like that.

No one – not Mahomes, not Reid, not a soul – is denying that Toney lined up offside. How could they? It was obvious to anyone peering at a TV screen at that befuddling moment.

And most folks offering their opinion on the matter agree with the Chiefs. You can’t let that harmless infraction decide a game.

Then Mahomes and Reid seethed over an earlier display of pass interference by a Buffalo defender that went uncalled. Then they ranted some more about the insanity of letting an offensive offside penalty being called at all, let alone at game’s end.

Not once did they say a word about Toney, such as, “What a dummy.”

Nope. The Chiefs did not lose Sunday because Kadarius Toney lined up offside.

They lost because the referees ruled him offside.

What an embarrassment.