The Kansas City Chiefs assembled the longest drive of their divisional round playoff matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday night, using 13 plays to travel 75 yards for a touchdown and a chance to tie things up at 18.
There was just one problem—because the drive took so long and head coach Andy Reid had already used two timeouts in questionable fashion, his team almost had to convert on a two-point conversion with 2:43 to prevent a Steelers victory.
They thought they had when quarterback Alex Smith found wideout Demetrius Harris in the back of the end zone.
But a holding penalty on 2013 first overall pick Eric Fisher, who was trying to block two-time All-Pro linebacker James Harrison, brought it back.
The Chiefs' ensuing attempt to tie things up from 12 yards out failed. Then the Steelers managed to get a first down once they reclaimed the ball, allowing them to run out the clock on the game and the Chiefs' season.
“Game on the line, and for me to let the team down, it’s going to be a hard one to let go,” Fisher said of the game-deciding play.
After the loss, Kansas City tight end Travis Kelce had some choice words for the official that threw the flag for holding.
This sucks. It was an unbelievable play call, last drive. Alex just drove us down there, fourth down after fourth down, making plays, making plays," said Kelce, who led the Chiefs with five catches and 77 receiving yards. "The momentum's getting on our side, then we just get our jugulars ripped out because because the ref felt bad for James Harrison falling on the ground. It's ignorant. The ref, number 51, shouldn't even be able to wear a zebra jersey ever again. He shouldn't even be able to work at f**king Foot Locker."
Smith was a bit more magnanimous, but still clearly frustrated after losing to a team that scored nothing but six field goals.
“I’ve seen a lot worse not get called, that’s for sure,” the quarterback said.