Chiefs lament holding call that cost a touchdown
Jamaal Charles was on the sidelines and didn't see anything resembling a hold.
Matt Cassel already was celebrating with Dwayne Bowe after the wide receiver turned a screen pass into a go-ahead 22-yard touchdown midway through the third quarter of Monday's game against the Steelers until he noticed the flag around the 12.
Tackle Branden Albert was called for holding Will Allen 10 yards down the field that nullified a Kansas City touchdown and erased what looked like a 17-10 lead.
Four plays later, Ryan Succop missed a 33-yard field goal and the momentum that was once in favor of the Chiefs all but evaporated.
The Steelers went on to take a 13-10 lead and beat Kansas City in overtime, 16-13, as the Chiefs lost their seventh consecutive game to fall to 1-8.
“We did well, but not well enough to win,” running back Peyton Hillis said.
The Chiefs pointed toward what they viewed as a late flag on Bowe's touchdown.
“I don't know how the ref called that,” Charles said. “He was on the other side of the field. That makes you think. It felt it was going bad after that.”
Kansas City was in the midst of an eight-play drive when Cassel threw a wide-receiver screen to Bowe. Bowe picked up a block from Tony Moeaki, broke the tackle of Lawrence Timmons and strolled into the end zone.
“I saw it thrown when I came back after the celebration,” Cassel said. “We were celebrating and moving on.”
The points ended up costing the Chiefs.
“You can't leave any points on the board,” Charles said. “It's hard especially where we are at right now.”
The Chiefs haven't scored more than 16 points during their losing streak, yet took their first lead of the season when Charles scored on the opening series of the game.
“It is always frustrating when you think you have a touchdown pass and all of a sudden there is a flag on the field,” Cassel said. “It was thrown late. It was unfortunate. It is always tough to overcome that. It was unfortunate because it took seven points off the board.”
The Chiefs didn't catch many breaks.
Justin Houston's fumble return for a touchdown on the ensuing series was called back, and Cassel's only mistake of the game came at the worst time — in overtime. An interception set up the Steelers' game-winning field goal.
“Well, you know with this team, which we haven't been scoring a lot of points, to be able to score some, it was a good feeling,” Kansas City coach Romeo Crennel said. “And to take them off the board was a bad feeling.”
Even though the game ended in another loss, the Chiefs took some positives out of the game.
“We fought our tails off today,” Charles said. “We wanted to turn our season around and what better stage to do it than Monday Night Football? We wanted to show the world that we are a good team. It is tough to lose a game like that at the end.”
Mark Kaboly is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org