NFL’s Officiating Head Defends Travis Kelce Fumble Decision
By Ben Nielsen
The NFL is doubling down on it’s assertion Travis Kelce fumbled late in the fourth quarter in Sunday’s loss to the Arizona Cardinals.
Head of Officiating Dean Blandino told the NFL Network this morning the officials made the right call in overturning the ruling on the field. Here are the quotes via Pro Football Talk.
"“The ball was loose before he hit the ground, and then the question was, Did he re-gain control of it as he was rolling over? And this is treated just like a pass,” Blandino said. “So if you fumble and the ball is loose, in order to re-gain possession, you have to maintain control as you go to the ground. And as you watch the play, you see Kelce never re-gained control of it. He’s bobbling the ball, he rolls over, it comes completely loose and then Arizona recovers it. So it was a fumble and properly overturned on replay.”“Think of it as a process, like a catch,” Blandino said. “So as he’s going to the ground he has to maintain control when he lands. And he didn’t maintain control throughout that entire act of rolling over — he was bobbling it. So if it had been a catch situation that would have been an incomplete pass. So you look at it the same way. It’s a fumble.”"
Look, I understand the Chiefs are to blame for losing this game and not the officials. At some point the Chiefs need an offensive line that can block for more than 0.5 seconds and a wide receiver who can create separation in less than 10 seconds. It is a deadly, deadly combination the Chiefs have working there.
But you cannot deny that the officials’ decision on Kelce’s fumble at least cost the Chiefs three points. Instead of first and 10 from around the Cardinals’ 15, the Chiefs lost possession and were thrown in to a field position nightmare. At the very least the officials cost the Chiefs a chance to win the game in overtime.