The Cincinnati Bengals didn’t have the greatest luck in their AFC Championship Game loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, and it’s fair to wonder whether or not the result would have been different had a few calls gone their way. That’s precisely what Ja’Marr Chase was complaining about shortly after their crushing loss.
The most egregious call came midway through the fourth quarter, as the Chiefs ran a play on 3rd and nine that they ended up not converting, but it was ruled that the play never happened after a referee blew the play dead right before the snap. Eli Apple committed a holding penalty to give Kansas City a first down on the ensuing third and nine play, allowing the Chiefs to keep their drive alive. Kansas City ended up failing to convert their next third down, which was also a 3rd and nine, leading to this cryptic tweet from Chase after the game.
Via Ja’Marr Chase:
“3 3rd and 9 ?”
On one hand, this situation was fairly inconsequential, as the Chiefs still punted the ball back to the Bengals with the score tied at 20 apiece. But considering how Kansas City won this game as time pretty much expired, the extra minute that the Chiefs took off the clock actually ended up having a huge role in this game.
In some ways, Chase is crying over spilled milk, but it’s fair to wonder whether things would have been different had there been an extra minute in this game. Could the Bengals have gone down the field and gotten a field goal to tie this game? Nobody knows, but now that the 23-20 loss is in the books for Cincy, it ultimately doesn’t matter, and it would be wise for Chase to move on from this disappointing loss.