Did the refs screw the Bengals on Patrick Mahomes late hit out of bounds?

The Patrick Mahomes late hit out of bounds set up the Chiefs’ game-winning kick in the AFC Championship Game. Did the Bengals get screwed?

The Chiefs beat the Bengals in a thrilling AFC Championship Game on Sunday night but the focus for many after the game wasn’t on the Super Bowl matchup. It was on the refs.

Cincinnati had gripes with the officiating throughout the game, including an odd sequence involving a phantom whistle and Eli Apple.

But the biggest frustration may have stemmed from the call that ultimately decided the game. As Patrick Mahomes ran for a first down, Bengals defensive end Joseph Ossai gave him a shove going out of bounds. The refs threw a flag for a late hit out of bounds, turning a five-yard scramble into a 20-yard play that set up a 45-yard field goal for Harrison Butker with three seconds remaining.

If that flag had not been thrown, the Chiefs would have been at the Bengals 47 yard line with only a chance at a Hail Mary play to avoid overtime.

So did the officials get it wrong? Do the Bengals have a legitimate gripe?

Did the refs screw the Bengals on the Patrick Mahomes late hit?

First, here’s video of the hit (and the alleged hold earlier in the play that had some fans in Cincinnati fuming).

Some big names in sports were on the side of Bengals fans, saying that the refs had the call wrong whether because of timing or severity of the hit.

Bengals fans will probably agree with Gottlieb and Simmons, but it won’t change the outcome of the game.

Nor will it change the fact that Ossai’s play was as boneheaded as they come. You cannot put your hands on a quarterback and expect not to draw a flag. Mahomes had clearly given himself up. There was no way the flag wasn’t going to come out. That’s the way things are in the league. That’s the way plays are called.

Did the Bengals get screwed? Not on that play.

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