Late in the fourth quarter of the Kansas City Chiefs‘ 20-17 loss to the Indianapolis Colts in Week 3, Colts quarterback Matt Ryan was sacked by Chiefs linebacker Nick Bolton on 3rd and 6. The play was a massive one for the Chiefs, as they were leading 17-13 at that point in the game and were getting the ball back with about 4:30 left in the game.
However, a penalty flag was thrown after the play was over.
The penalty was for unsportsmanlike conduct on Kansas City’s All-Pro defensive tackle Chris Jones. Video review showed that the flag was thrown after Jones had exchanged words with Ryan after the play. The result of the penalty was 15 yards, and more importantly, an automatic first down for Indianapolis.
Overall, the Colts marched 76 yards on 16 plays on that drive and capped it off with a touchdown pass from Ryan to rookie tight end Jelani Woods, their second touchdown connection of the day.
The Chiefs offense received the ball back with 24 seconds left in the game with 3 timeouts and 70 yards to travel. On the third play of the drive, Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes was intercepted by Indianapolis safety Rodney McLeod to solidify the first victory of the season for the Colts.
There were many mistakes made by the Chiefs in that game, which also includes rookie receiver Skyy Moore muffing a punt inside Kansas City’s 10-yard line in the first quarter which set up the Colts’ first touchdown of the game. Yet, one can’t help but think Kansas City would have won their matchup against the Colts had Jones, a veteran and leader for the Chiefs, avoided the easy-avoidable penalty on a pivotal defensive series.
It was later revealed Jones was flagged for “abusive language towards an opponent,” per referee Shawn Smith in a pool report administered to the media after the game.
Chiefs head coach Andy Reid and Jones also had something to say about that key penalty after the loss.
Andy Reid, Chris Jones React to 4th Quarter Penalty
Reid shared his thoughts regarding Jones’ fourth-quarter penalty during his post-game press conference.
“I didn’t see any pushing or shoving. I’m not exactly sure (what happened),” Reid said on September 25. “There are two guys talking to each other, I know that. It seemed like Chris got called on that, so I guess best advice would be — don’t talk.”
Reid was also asked if he was provided with any further explanation as to why the penalty occurred, for which Big Red said no.
Jones also shared his perspective of the situation with media members after the game.
“Chris Jones says he doesn’t remember exactly what he said, but he took full blame for the loss,” Sam McDowell of the Kansas City Star wrote on Twitter. “But when I asked if he’s done this type of thing before without a flag, he said, ‘Listen, I’ve never been flagged for talking.'”
The Chiefs are now 2-1 in the regular season. Next up on Kansas City’s schedule is a road game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday Night Football on October 2.