The NFL should be ashamed about what took place on Sunday Night Football between the NY Jets and Kansas City Chiefs. The Jets were screwed. Robert Saleh knows it. The Chiefs know it. Everyone in the Jets' locker room knows it. Everyone at MetLife Stadium knows it. Heck, everyone watching from home knows it.
What happened on Sunday night was an embarrassment for the NFL and its officiating crew. Despite an outstanding game from Zach Wilson, the Jets fell short against the powerhouse Chiefs following consecutive blown calls on the final drive of the game.
The first came on a 3rd-and-23 from the Chiefs 40-yard line with 6:21 to play. Mahomes scrambled up the middle for a 25-yard game, all the while Jets defensive end Jermaine Johnson was being held.
Johnson could be seen flailing his arms as the Chiefs' offensive lineman had a hold around his neck. It didn't matter. Instead, the Jets were flagged for illegal contact. That wouldn't be the only pseudo-stop the Jets would get, however.
The NFL stole a game from the NY Jets on Sunday Night Football
Three plays later, facing a 3rd-and-10, Mahomes lobbed a pass into double coverage on the sideline. The pass was intercepted by Jets cornerback Michael Carter II in what seemed to be a game-changing play for the Jets.
However, the play was called back following an egregious holding penalty on Sauce Gardner. The NBC broadcast immediately questioned the call, as did every person in the stadium. Saleh looked like he was ready to square up with the official.
In the end, that call would be the death of the Jets' defense and the game. The Jets would never get the ball back as a gassed Jets defense wasn't able to get off the field.
And that was it. No Zach Wilson heroics. No massive defensive turnover to change the complexion of the game. Instead, the NFL referees decided who the winner was going to be.
The referee in question can be seen double-clutching before he throws the flag. He waited until the interception was secured before deciding it was an interception for a penalty that occurred before the pass was thrown.
That's as blatant as it gets. The referees decided the outcome of this game.
The NFL will likely issue the Jets an apology, just as they did following the team's Week 2 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. That doesn't change the outcome, though.
The Jets lost this game because the refs stole it from them. There's no other way to frame it.