After Further Review: Jets-Chiefs Officiating

By popular demand, we're again going to have a post after each game that breaks down some of the controversial decisions from the officiating crew in the game.

Penalty Count

Chiefs 5-46 (leading to one Jets first down)
Jets 7-42 (leading to four Chiefs first downs)

Note: This does not include penalties that are declined or off-set.

Plays where the call was obvious, uncontroversial or not visible on broadcast footage

Jets Penalties

  • Mekhi Becton false start. Flinched before the snap.
  • Quinnen Williams encroachment. Almost timed this perfectly but was in the neutral zone as the snap began, albeit only by one or two frames.
  • Robert Saleh unsportsmanlike conduct at the end of the game. Just Saleh getting his money's worth after some earlier contentious calls.

Chiefs Penalties

  • Joshua Williams illegal block in the back on a punt. Clear shove in the back of Justin Hardee, who beat him from the gunner position.
  • Jawaan Taylor holding on Jermaine Johnson. An obvious call here, as Taylor dragged Johnson down.

Penalties warranting further discussion or explanation

Jets Penalties

  • Jermaine Johnson unsportsmanlike penalty. Johnson reacted to basically getting punched in the face by Donovan Smith who should also have been penalized. The "soft review" process is supposed to catch these.
  • Quincy Williams defensive hold and DJ Reed illegal contact on the same play - both declined anyway. Reed's penalty looked like a bad call - Skyy Moore initiated the contact by running into him and Reed literally pulled his hands away to avoid initiating contact himself. Williams did grab Travis Kelce on his break well down the field though.
  • Connor McGovern illegal man downfield to negate a first down pass to CJ Uzomah. He was 1.5 yards downfield and you're supposed to get one yard of leeway so, by the book, this was correct. In practice, it's rarely called unless it's more egregious though.
  • CJ Mosley illegal contact on 3rd-and-22. Knocked Kelce to the ground down the field although from the footage it looked like an innocent bump and maybe incidental contact. Also, Kelce may have slipped or even flopped to draw the call.
  • Sauce Gardner defensive holding on 3rd-and-20 to negate Deuce Carter's pick. This is the call everyone is talking about but it looked like a clear hold. Just kidding, there was contact, sure, but Gardner didn't materially impede the receiver as he changed direction and Gardner maintained contact with the outside shoulder. You can't call that in this situation when guys like JC Jackson and Xavien Howard get away with actual grabs all the time and, yes, it was thrown really late as if the official was unsure. The one thing they got right was that it was holding and not interference because the pass wasn't thrown yet.

Chiefs Penalties

  • Taylor facemask on Bryce Huff for a safety. An interesting one here as if the face mask penalty was initiated outside the end zone but continued into the end zone, that is not a safety. (For soccer fans, it's the opposite rule in terms of a foul outside the box that continues into the box giving rise to a penalty kick). However, if the situation is that the grab occurred while Huff was still on the one yard line but the twist of the face mask occurred in the end zone, then it could still be a safety if the officials would have not flagged it had Taylor let go of the face mask before that twist. Given everything else they missed that arguably makes the call justified.
  • Derrick Nnadi horse collar on Breece Hall. Bad call here as the tackle was made on the front of the jersey, even though Nnadi's hand slipped around towards the side as Hall tried to drag him for extra yardage. The Jets were similarly hosed on basically the same call when Quincy Williams was flagged in the 2022 season finale to set up the winning field goal.
  • Trey Smith holding on Quinnen Williams. Taken down in pass protection. Considering some of the ones they missed, it was surprising they caught this one, although Carl Lawson was arguably even more clearly held on the same play.
  • Smith holding again. This time Bryce Huff got upfield on him and he held on too long at the moment Patrick Mahomes escaped the pocket.

Notable no-calls etc

Here were some of the other notable missed calls, replay situations and controversial moments:

  • It initially looked like maybe Allen Lazard committed offensive pass interference on the deep ball he caught but, although the cornerback went down, it didn't seem like there was much contact from Lazard.
  • Alijah Vera-Tucker knocked off Willie Gay's helmet on a Jets touchdown and that could have negated it for illegal hands to the face. However, it didn't look like Vera-Tucker was guilty of this and the helmet popped off rather easily.
  • Jordan Whitehead had consecutive hard hits which looked like possible helmet-to-helmet hits and weren't called. On reflection the second one looked clean, but it will be interesting to see if he is fined for either.
  • Carl Lawson fell on Mahomes after he went down on the kind of play that has been called on the Jets in previous games/seasons but he got away with it. Would have been a soft call.
  • Isiah Pacheco reacted to a Johnson shove that should have attracted an unsportsmanlike penalty based on the earlier Johnson penalty.
  • Bryce Hall probably got away with an illegal block in the back on an 11-yard Xavier Gipson punt return, so that's a 21-yard swing in field position.
  • Mahomes was lucky to get the benefit of the doubt on his possible intentional grounding call where he claimed to be trying to hit Pacheco in the flat.
  • Johnson was clearly held on the late Mahomes scramble. If you're going to "let them play" and then make a call like the one on Gardner late then it's no wonder Saleh was apoplectic.

Let us know what we missed - or misinterpreted - in the comments...