- A non-call for holding and a late flag for defensive holding cost the Jets
- Fans brought out conspiracies that the game was rigged for one specific person
- DailyMail.com provides all the latest international sports news
In the final moments of the game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the New York Jets, the referee crew made a number of questionable decisions that essentially gave the Chiefs a victory late in the game.
On a 3rd and 23 with 6:21 left in the fourth quarter, Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes was able to scramble for 25 yards – thanks in part to an uncalled hold from OT Donovan Smith on Jets pass rusher Jermaine Johnson.
Then, a late interception from Jets cornerback Michael Carter II was wiped away by a very late flag due to Sauce Gardner supposedly holding Chiefs receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling.
Those two plays allowed the Chiefs to gain two crucial first downs as Kansas City held on to beat the Jets 23-20.
After the game, NFL fans were livid at the play calling – with some suggesting that the referees rigged the result as Taylor Swift watched on in the stands.
Football fans were irate as two late referee decisions may have swayed the result in Chiefs-Jets
First, referees held their whistles after what appeared to be a blatant hold on a Jets rusher
Then, they tossed a flag on this play as Sauce Gardner ‘held’ Chiefs receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling – wiping away what would have been a crucial interception for the New York Jets
First, many took issue with the missed hold – which saw Jermaine Johnson trying to slap Smith’s facemask in order to break free.
Former NFL wide receiver Rob Carpenter said, ‘Jermaine Johnson throwing punches to stop being held and refs who are literally paid to watch the OT somehow doesn’t see what we all saw.’
‘I’m usually not “blame the refs guy” but holy s**t was the last five minutes of that game shady as hell & I was genuinely rooting for [Jets coach Robert] Saleh to punch that ref at the end there,’ wrote Boston sports radio host Jim Murray.
Then there was the flag on Gardner for holding. It appeared that both Gardner and Valdes-Scantling were shoving each other and the official on the sideline that threw the penalty marker didn’t even toss it until the interception was made.
‘Mahomes quite literally threw up a prayer and the ref waited until the #Jets picked it off to throw the flag. It’s [Tom] Brady levels of protection,’ said Jets beat writer Nick Faria.
Another account wrote, ‘This should have been Mahomes 3rd INT of the game. The refs ruled this defensive holding. Atrocious call.’
A different user said, ‘LMFAOOOOOO CANT TELL ME THIS S**T NOT RIGGED DAWG!!!’
Many football fans were up in arms as Jermaine Johnson was being held – allowing Mahomes to scamper for a 25 yard gain and a first down on a crucial 3rd and 23
Others took issue with the timing of the defensive holding penalty called on Gardner
As a result of these calls, a number of people believed that the refs made sure that the Chiefs would win – especially because of Taylor Swift in the stands.
One account said, ‘You really thought the league and the refs were gonna let Taylor Swift, and all of these tied in promos and ad campaigns end in a loss. Have. You. Learned. Nothing.’
Another wrote, ‘The hand of the NFL had to come in and save the Chiefs or else the promotions and commercials would go to waste.’
‘The ref’s are definitely Taylor Swift fans!,’ said another account.
Another posted, ‘Refs weren’t gonna let the #nyjets win with Taylor Swift in the house.’
Some NFL fans believed that the referees rigged the game for Taylor Swift and their pockets
Thanks to those plays, the Chiefs were able to run out the clock and cap off a closer-than-it-should-have-been 23-20 win.
It was a poor night from Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes, who only completed 18-of-30 passes for 203 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions.
Travis Kelce, the boyfriend of Taylor Swift, led KC in receptions (six) and yards (60) on a night of frustration through the air.
Meanwhile, despite a strong performance, Zach Wilson blamed himself after he gave up a costly fumble late in the game.