With 28 seconds to go at the Cleveland 48 Chiefs QB Matt Cassel dropped back and delivered an 8 yard pass to Mark Bradley. On the next play Cassel spiked the ball to stop the clock. 11 seconds remained.
Now how is it, that on a relatively clean pass and catch for 7 yards took a total of 17 seconds off the clock? I shall tell you. After Bradley was tackled by Adams, a Browns player reached down and ripped the ball from Bradley’s grasp, turned and took a couple of steps away. I will review the tape on this later but as far as I could tell this action caused a fair amount of confusion for the referees and cost the Chiefs about 5 precious seconds. The closest official, you see, ran to Bradley to retrieve the ball but could not find it. I yelled out “delay of game” and the Chiefs fans with me shouted in agreement. The flag, however, never came.
Make no mistake, the Chiefs lost this game themselves and not because of poor officiating. However, had the delay of game been called, and at this point I firmly believe it should have been called, the Chiefs would have been granted penalty yards, a stopped clock and likely the 5 seconds they lost while the Browns player was hiding the football from the referee.
Had the Chiefs gotten the call they very well may have lost anyway. The offense had tied the game and the Chiefs D allowed the Browns
to march 71 yards in a minute and a half for the winning touchdown. This loss squarely falls on the shoulders of the Chiefs, but as football is a game of inches and seconds, Sunday’s biggest blunder might belong to the officiating crew.
What do you think Addicts? Did the Browns get away with a delay of game in the closing seconds?