By Max Harper
The Eagles and Chiefs were tied at 35 with 1:54 to play, and Kansas City was driving at the Philly 15.
Patrick Mahomes’ pass on 3rd and 8 to JuJu Smith-Schuster was overthrown, so it seemed Kansas City would have to settle for a field goal and the Eagles would get the ball back with almost two minutes to tie or win the game.
But a flag was thrown, and Birds cornerback James Bradberry was called for defensive holding.
Now Kansas City had a first-and-10 at the 11. In the end, it kicked a field goal, but crucially did so with only eight seconds remaining, leaving Philly almost no time to come back.
As fans watched replays of the alleged penalty, a consensus quickly emerged on message boards, Twitter and anguished phone calls. Bradberry had certainly touched Smith-Schuster, and maybe technically it was defensive holding. But the call seemed marginal, and making it at such a crucial moment seemed to violate an unwritten rule: “Don’t decide a game on an insignificant penalty.”
The Fox announcer Greg Olsen and the noted football fan LeBron James were among those who criticized the call. It was the only defensive holding or pass interference call at any time during the game.
The Chiefs kicked a field goal for a 38-35 lead and the win.
But if you’re looking for the real reason Philly lost, you might want to ask Jonathan Gannon why he never brought a blitz to slow down Mahomes!
Was a flag deserved on this play? 🧐#SBLVII pic.twitter.com/767jfvibA2
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) February 13, 2023