Kansas City Chiefs: The Good, The Bad And The Baffling From Week 14

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The Baffling: Travis Kelce’s Fumble

Dec 7, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals safety Deone Bucannon (36) forces a fumble on Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) in the fourth quarter at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Chiefs 17-14. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

If anyone invents the memory-wiping gadget from Men in Black, email me. I want to take the chip that stores this play, put it in my palm, do Kelce’s “dice roll” gesture and flick it into a dumpster fire.

Play. Pause. Rewind. Rinse. Cycle. Repeat.

I’ve studied this play for longer than I care to count, and my progress bar still has a donut next to it.

Did Kelce lose the ball? Did he regain possession? Is that his hand or the defender’s? What was the original ruling? Is it conclusive? If two cars traveling in the opposite direction…

I don’t know.

The ball obviously comes loose—that part isn’t debatable. The question is whether Kelce regained possession while tumbling with the defender. After reviewing it, sometimes it looks like he clutches the ball with two hands. Other times, it looks like he tucks it with his arm. Then again, maybe he didn’t.

This much I know: After the ball was ripped free (the second time), one can argue that Kelce’s first-down gesture was dictated by doubt. However, when the tackler doesn’t entertain the thought of chasing after the ball (or argue the ruling, for that matter), that’s usually a tell-tale sign of how he felt the sequence played out.

Here’s the league’s definition of possession:

"When a player controls the ball throughout the act of clearly touching both feet, or any other part of his body other than his hand(s), to the ground inbounds."

Best of luck.