Nobody gave the Cleveland Browns much of a chance heading into Sunday’s showdown against the Kansas City Chiefs. The defending champs were 9.5-point favorites in most sportsbooks, which is a number that speaks for itself.
After a hot start by Kansas City, the Browns seemingly finally found their groove at the end of the second quarter. With the seconds winding down and halftime in sight, Baker Mayfield hit Rashard Higgins for a completion down to the two yard line. Higgins instinctively reached for the end zone, only to fumble the ball away – resulting in a touchback.
The problem is, the officials completely botched that entire sequence.
Although the play was pretty obviously a fumble, it never should have counted. Higgins was plainly hit in the helmet – the most egregious example of targeting you will ever see.
Sorenson always comes up with clutch plays in big moments pic.twitter.com/VKPT78cEQR
— Billy M (@BillyM_91) January 17, 2021
Browns were THIS close to scoring this TD 😱
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 17, 2021
Due to the sheer stupidity of the rules, only the fumble and not the targeting hit were reviewable. Thus, the fumble stood and the Chiefs got the ball.
Kansas City subsequently went down the field and scored a field goal before time expired, giving the reigning Super Bowl champions a 16-point lead at halftime.
What makes this whole situation all the worse is that it has become so common in the NFL. The refs blatantly helped the New Orleans Saints. Same with the Tennessee Titans. At a certain point, officials need to be held to account. Every time they are not, it makes a mockery of the sport and all its participants.
Paige has ditched the Steelers and has a new favorite NFL team now. https://t.co/xDqRw29Pyz
— Game 7 (@game7__) January 17, 2021