Necessary Roughness: The Chiefs benefiting by ‘getting all the calls’ is inaccurate

The speculation that the Chiefs have become the new New England Patriots when it comes to getting favorable calls is flat out wrong, and the last two weeks have proved it.

The Kansas City Chiefs are currently sitting at 5-1 this season and are leading the AFC West. This, obviously, coming off a Championship season the year before. With the newfound success and the face of the NFL under center in Kansas City, there has been a narrative around the league that the Chiefs consistently get bailed out by the referees.

Patriots beat writer Mark Daniels expressed this concern in a tweet during the Chiefs game against the Patriots.

He even implied that this was also the case in last season’s game against the Patriots.

Every game will have its share of questionable calls and the Chiefs have been on the wrong end of those calls for decades. Teams like the Patriots, however, are not getting “hosed” as Daniels stated. They just aren’t the beneficiary of the bad calls anymore and that’s not something that they are accustomed to.

The fact is, the Chiefs still get their share of questionable calls that go against them and the past two games have proved it. In the game against the Las Vegas Raiders, the Chiefs were penalized a total of 10 times for 94 yards. Two of those penalties were on scoring plays that were taken off the board. The first one was a holding penalty by guard Kelechi Osemele that looked more like the defender falling than an actual hold.

The second one was offensive pass interference on Travis Kelce. It was a ticky-tack call that showed the defender running into Kelce more than Kelce actually setting a pick. The Chiefs were able to get a field goal on that drive but both penalties resulted in 11 points taken away. The Chiefs lost by eight points.

The Raiders, on the other hand, completely mugged Tyreek Hill on a deep pass that would have probably resulted in a score in the second quarter. As the ball was coming down, the Raiders’ Johnathan Abram hit Hill’s arms before the ball got to him. No call was made. He then proceeded to stand over Hill after the play was over, which should have been a taunting penalty. Again, no call was made.

On Monday against the Buffalo Bills, the Chiefs were flagged eight times for 68 yards versus only four flags for the Bills. There was a touchdown negated on one of the penalties, but the Chiefs got it back on the next play.

Cornerbacks Bashaud Breeland and Charvarious Ward were responsible for most of the penalties since that was the only way that quarterback Josh Allen could move the ball down the field. The first penalty on Ward was a defensive pass interference and set the Bills up in a goal to go situation. They would score the next play. The penalty, however, looked like both players were hand-fighting back and forth and there wasn’t very much contact, at least not enough to justify 24 yards and a guaranteed touchdown.  

One of Breeland’s penalties came on a 3rd and 11. The referee threw the flag for illegal contact but only after the receiver turned to him and complained. The penalty was questionable along with the timing of the flag. It gave Buffalo a new set of downs.

There were a couple of missed calls in this game as well. Josh Allen had a clear intentional grounding penalty that was never called. He never moved outside of the pocket and threw the ball about fifteen yards out of bounds with no receiver in sight. Troy Aikman, who was on the call with Joe Buck, provided an explanation after the play was over.

“they really don’t like to call that if they can avoid it.”

Really? Thanks, Troy. It sure didn’t seem like the officials minded calling penalties on the Chiefs, did they? In fact, they didn’t even want to give Andy Reid a measurement on a Patrick Mahomes third-down run that was awfully close to getting the first down. Reid was visibly irate with the officials after being denied the measurement.

He was so irate that he ran the ball down the Buffalo’s throat on the very next play.

I have never heard of a coach not getting a measurement on a third-down play that ended up being that close to the sticks. For the record, I think Mahomes picked up the first down.

Now let me be clear. In no way am I saying that the Chiefs would have beat the Raiders if it wasn’t for those calls, nor do I think they were all bad calls. I don’t blame losses on the officials. I am not a 49ers fan.

My point with all of this is that if the Chiefs really do “get all the calls” like a lot of people believe, then they wouldn’t have gotten 18 penalties in two games, and opposing defenses wouldn’t be taking free shots against Tyreek Hill while the ball is in the air.

Quarterbacks like Josh Allen wouldn’t have more yards gained by penalties than passing the ball and a hall of fame head coach wouldn’t have to practically murder someone just to get a measurement.