Ravens WR Takes Subtle Shot at NFL Refs After Losing to Chiefs

Zay Flowers shades NFL refs after Chiefs beat Ravens.

Getty Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Zay Flowers (#4) had an interesting quote about the NFL referees after the AFC Championship vs. the Kansas City Chiefs.

An interesting quote by Baltimore Ravens rookie wide receiver Zay Flowers has been circulating the Kansas City Chiefs community in recent days.

“Honestly, that’s something we anticipated,” Flowers told a reporter when asked about the penalties seemingly favoring the Chiefs during the AFC Championship (via WJZ Sports in Baltimore). “We said we was going to play through it but, you know, you can’t make the calls for the refs.”

It was a particularly eventful game for Flowers. The rising star accounted for 119 scrimmage yards and a touchdown against KC, but he also surrendered the football when it mattered most with the game-changing fumble at the goal line.

On top of that, Flowers was called for a taunting penalty after a 54-yard reception that got the better of Chiefs cornerback L’Jarius Sneed. Of course, Sneed returned the favor by punching the ball loose on Flowers’ turnover.

“Yeah, I thought I did, honestly,” the Ravens WR replied when asked if he thought he broke the plane for a touchdown on his pivotal fumble. Adding: “But I learn from my mistakes.”

Video replay shared by the NFL and CBS broadcast clearly shows Flowers lose possession before reaching the end zone. This fumble is not debatable, similar to Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce being marked short of a first down earlier in the game.

The difference is, Kansas City didn’t complain about it.

Chiefs Discipline & Playoff Experience Showed vs. Ravens

Flowers and the Ravens only have themselves to blame for this conference championship exit as their lack of discipline and experience was on full display throughout.

Sure, the Chiefs won the penalty battle — with three flags for 30 yards compared to eight Baltimore flags for 95 yards. If that was truly “anticipated” by the Ravens, they didn’t act like it.

Time and time again, KC kept their composure in big moments. On the flip side, Flowers celebrated a huge catch by shoving Sneed to the ground and spiking the football in his vicinity.

Ravens edge rusher Jadeveon Clowney also hit Patrick Mahomes late with a helmet-to-helmet, while Pro Football Network agreed that defensive tackle Travis Jones “clocked” the Chiefs QB in the face on an earlier roughing the passer penalty.

Linebackers Kyle Van Noy and Roquan Smith were unable to control their emotions as well, with unnecessary roughness penalties both before and after the whistle.

The Chiefs and the referees didn’t make Baltimore do any of that — they did it to themselves with blatantly obvious infringements.

Chiefs Had Rashee Rice Touchdown Nullified by Holding Call vs. Ravens

There was one out-of-focus penalty that nullified a touchdown in this title game, and it was called against the Chiefs.

One play after getting flagged for a holding penalty on a Mahomes scramble, right guard Trey Smith got hit with another hold on a 33-yard touchdown screen to wide receiver Rashee Rice. On the second flag, CBS broadcaster Tony Romo even acknowledged that the penalty was somewhat irrelevant to the screen that sprung Rice for six.

That’s the type of flag that fans typically have issue with — and Chiefs analyst Seth Keysor did, referring to it as “utterly ridiculous” on X. “If you think this is a hold, you need to talk to an OL immediately,” he voiced, arguing that the “ref stuff goes two ways.”

Keysor’s right about one thing. When penalties are called, there’s nothing an NFL team can do but move on.

After the back-to-back holdings, Mahomes kept his composure and found Kelce for a nine-yard gain that set up a key 52-yard field goal before the half. The Ravens penalties often compounded, resulting in turnovers, punts and defensive mistakes.

The referees also appeared to miss a tripping penalty against a Baltimore offensive lineman that occurred in his own end zone, which would have resulted in a safety if seen.

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