NFL Takes Stance on Late Hit on Patrick Mahomes in AFC Title Game: Report

Getty Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

Despite being flagged for a late hit on Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes in the AFC Championship, Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Joseph Ossai was not fined by the NFL for the hit, according to Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk.

With the score tied 20-20 and 17 seconds left in regulation, the Chiefs ran a third-and-4 play from the Bengals’ 47-yard line in which Mahomes dropped back and scrambled to his right before tucking and running past the first-down marker and out of bounds at the 38-yard line.

Though Mahomes picked up the first down, the Chiefs were still out of field goal range. On the play, Bengals linebacker Joseph Ossai was called for unnecessary roughness for shoving Mahomes when he was already out of bounds, giving the Chiefs an extra 15 yards. That set up Kansas City for a 45-yard field goal, which Harrison Butker made with three seconds remaining in the game.

Mahomes Reacts to Late Hit in AFCCG

Speaking to the media after the game, Mahomes revealed his thought process leading up to and during his run, which happened despite playing with a high-ankle sprain.

“Throughout the game, I think I just tried, I tried to do whatever I could to win and obviously there were times where you could see [the ankle] wouldn’t let me do what I wanted to, but I was able to do enough on that last play to get the first down and get myself out of bounds and try to give Harrison a chance to win. And, obviously, we got the flag when [Ossai] pushed me. He pushed me pretty late there,” Mahomes explained.

“But yeah, I was just trying to – the defense had gotten us stops, like, the last two drives, and we had opportunities to get in field goal range and we didn’t, so I knew I was going to do whatever I could to get us in field goal range. And then Harrison made the kick.”

Mahomes was asked again about Ossai’s late hit on February 2, and double-down on how late he felt that hit was.

“I was pretty far out of bounds; it was probably the furthest I’ve been out of bounds before I’ve been hit,” Mahomes said.

Twitter Reacts to NFL Not Fining Ossai

Twitter users to the NFL opting to not fine Joseph Ossai.

“As he shouldn’t be. He just pushed him out of bounds late,” one Twitter user wrote. “Besides no fine could ever top the guilt he felt when out out the chiefs in FG position.”

“I’m pretty sure Ossai is going to be suffering through this enough the rest of his life, last thing he needed was a fine too,” another user wrote.

“Now what kind of precedent does this set? Yeah sure push a guy out of bounds whenever you want… C’mon Goodell, time to step in and suspend Ossai,” another user wrote.

“Yeah idk if it warranted a flag. Don’t think it was egregious aside from the obvious penalty,” another user wrote.

“I understand it’s the rule but he barely touched the guy,” another user wrote. “Pretty soon the nfl will make it against the rules to tackle. No fun league.”