Before the Cincinnati Bengals vs. Kansas City Chiefs The AFC championship was over, “NFL RIGGED” was trending on Twitter. Several calls from NFL referee Ron Torbert’s team went against the opposing team, and Bengals fans and supporters weren’t happy about it. Two fourth quarter calls, a replayed 3rd down for the Chiefs and an intentional grounding on Joe Terrier particularly upset people. However, after the game, Torbert explained the calls clearly and concisely, although it won’t make the Bengals or their fans feel any better.
NFL referee explains Chiefs’ 3rd down
If you weren’t paying close attention with 10:29 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Bengals-Chiefs AFC Championship Gamewhat happened in the next two plays would be incredibly confusing.
On the 2nd and 9th, Patrick Mahomes threw an incomplete pass with the score tied at 20-20. When setting up 3rd and 9th, the NFL referees officiating the game had to reset the point, but the game clock continued to tick. To resolve this problem, Ron Torbert announced, “Please reset the playback clock to 10 seconds. Game clock and game clock will start at my signal.
The problem was that after an incomplete pass, only the game clock – not the game clock – should have started when Torbert tweeted his whistle.
Both clocks started, however, and Mahomes hit Travis Kelce four yards out on a first down, setting up a Chiefs punt. However, what no one heard or noticed was court judge Tom Hill who came in from behind the Bengals defense to stop the play.
This official correctly acknowledged that the game clock should not have started and stopped play, even though no one heard it with the noise at Arrowhead Stadium. Torbert then announced the error and reset the 3rd down, much to the chagrin of Bengals fans, head coach Zac Taylorand the “NFL rigged” crowd on social media.
Bengals defensive lineman BJ Hill sacked Mahomes on the play, but another of the NFL’s on-field referees called Eli Apple. It gave the Chiefs an automatic first down.
The Chiefs eventually kicked in anyway, but the seeds of discontent were already planted.
After the game, Torbert explained to the NFL Pool Reporter what happened and how to redo the down is standard operating procedure. “If we tried to stop play and couldn’t, we would stop it and replay the down,” Torbert said.
The Intentional Grounding of Joe Burrow
After the 3rd down do-over (and subsequent Eli Apple penalty), no one in orange and black was happy. Another key NFL referee call was an intentional ground call against Bengals QB Joe Burrow with 1:22 left in the AFC Championship Game.
Burrow threw an incomplete 2nd and 7 under pressure, and after a conference from the officials, they called the play an intentional ground. That call set up a 3rd-and-16 instead of a 2nd-and-7. The Bengals got the first down on a 23-yard completion off tight end Hayden Hurst on the next play, but it didn’t. made Bengals fans happier about the call.
After the game, that call was another that NFL referee Ron Torbert was asked to clarify.
The quarterback was under duress, in danger of being sacked, and threw the ball to the ground. There were no eligible receivers in the area, and he hadn’t come out of the pocket and thrown it past the line of scrimmage. So it was an intentional ground fault.
NFL referee Ron Torbert on Joe Burrow’s intentional grounding
It was a classic explanation for a seemingly obvious call, but not one that kept “rigged NFL” from trending.