Not to be lost in the celebration of the Kansas City Chiefs 40-26 dismantling of the Jacksonville Jaguars is the absolute disaster in officiating we all witnessed.
I’m not here to complain about a missed hold or nit-pick the spot of the ball. I’m here to discuss the officiating crew allowing the tone of the Chiefs/Jaguars game to escalate throughout the first half culminating in Myles Jack’s eventual ejection. What is not to be forgotten is the fallout that occurred along the way, with two starting quarterbacks and one of the league’s best wide receivers injured in less than half of regulation time.
The Jaguars are a physical defense that likes to set the tone of the game. I can respect that, I think all NFL fans appreciate watching a well-coached, physical defense tee off against an offense. However, the Jaguars are used to bullying lesser opponents. They have grown accustomed to setting the tone early with a little extra physicality and it having a lasting impact on the game as drives stall and wide receivers drop balls anticipating the big hit. The Jaguars are not used to an offense like the Chiefs’, one that can move the ball at will against them. And what happens when a bully doesn’t get a reaction?
The bully will continue to push the envelope until they get a reaction.
And that is exactly what happened. Leonard Fournette swung at Damien Wilson after wrapping him up before the whistle blew. No flag. Jalen Ramsey drives Tyreek Hill into the ground and then shoves him while he’s trying to get up. No flag.
Myles Jack almost rips Patrick Mahomes’ helmet off during a feet-first slide. No flag. Add in the Nick Foles injury that could have also been a missed call as Chris Jones did land on Foles with his body weight (although I still hate that rule and think it should be considered a clean hit) and the tension was only going to continue to escalate as long as the officials refused to regulate the tone of the game. Until finally the bully got a reaction…
With Myles Jack going after a ref following his ejection, this game is likely to get a closer look by the NFL. While I have no expectation of the NFL making official comments on the way this game was handled, it would be a tragedy if the officials’ lack of command of the game wasn’t communicated throughout the league and to the officiating crews. Having two of the NFL’s biggest stars injured within one half of football without a flag thrown is an unacceptable occurrence.
In the meantime, we are all left hoping the NFL manages to do the right thing.