- A no-call for holding and a late flag for defensive holding cost the Jets
- Fans brought up 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 refereeing crew made some questionable decisions that arguably led to a Chiefs victory later in the game.
On a 3rd-and-23 with 6:21 left in the fourth quarter, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was able to amass 25 yards — thanks in part to an uncalled grab by OT Donovan Smith on Jets pass rusher Jermaine Johnson.
Then a late interception by Jets cornerback Michael Carter II was wiped away by a very late flag as Sauce Gardner allegedly pinned Chiefs receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling.
These two plays allowed the Chiefs to gain two crucial first downs, while Kansas City outscored the Jets 23-20.
After the game, NFL fans were outraged by the play calling – with some suggesting the referees had manipulated the outcome as Taylor Swift watched in the stands.
Football fans were furious as two late referee decisions could have affected the Chiefs-Jets outcome
First, the officials held their whistle after what appeared to be a blatant grab on a Jets rusher
They then threw a flag on this play while 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 grab, with Jermaine Johnson trying to punch Smith’s facemask to break free.
Former NFL wide receiver Rob Carpenter said, “Jermaine Johnson is throwing punches to avoid being held and referees who are literally paid to watch the OT are somehow not seeing what we all saw.”
“I don’t usually blame the referee, but the last five minutes of that game were dark as hell and I was really hoping (Jets coach Robert) Saleh would punch that referee at the end,” Jim wrote Murray, sports radio host from Boston.
Then there was the flag for Gardner to hold. It appeared that both Gardner and Valdes-Scantling were pushing each other and the sideline referee who threw the penalty didn’t even throw it until the interception occurred.
“Mahomes literally threw out a prayer and the referee waited for the #Jets to pick it up to throw the flag. It’s (Tom) Brady levels of protection,” Jets beat writer Nick Faria said.
Another account wrote, “This should have been Mahome’s third INT of the game. The referees ruled on this defensive attitude. Horrible call.”
Another user said: ‘LMFAOOOOOO CAN’T TELL ME THIS S**T ASN’T rigged DAWG!!!’
Many football fans were up in arms when Jermaine Johnson was held, allowing Mahomes to run for a 25-yard gain and a first down on a crucial 3rd-and-23.
Others disagreed with the timing of the defensive holding penalty imposed on Gardner
As a result of these calls, a number of people believed that the referees were ensuring the Chiefs would win, especially because of Taylor Swift in the stands.
One account said, “You really thought the league and the referees were going to let Taylor Swift in, and all these linked promos and ad campaigns end in a loss. To have. You. Learned. Nothing.’
Another wrote, “The hand of the NFL had to come in and save the Chiefs or the promos and commercials would be lost.”
“The referees are definitely fans of Taylor Swift!” said another account.
Another wrote: ‘The refs wouldn’t let the #nyjets win with Taylor Swift in the house.’
Some NFL fans believed the referees rigged the game for Taylor Swift and their wallets
These plays allowed the Chiefs to run out the clock and earn a 23-20 victory that was closer than it should have been.
It was a down night for Chiefs QB Mahomes, who completed just 18 of 30 passes for 203 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.
Swift’s friend Travis Kelce 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 giving up a costly fumble late in the game.