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Refs Missed Obvious Penalty on Browns Fumble Into the End Zone

Ryan Phillips
Dan Sorenson hits Rashard Higgins with his helmet, causing a fumble
Dan Sorenson hits Rashard Higgins with his helmet, causing a fumble
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The Cleveland Browns suffered a gut-punch late in the first half of their Divisional Round matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs. A fumble into the end zone snatched a potential touchdown from Baker Mayfield's offense, but officials appear to have screwed Cleveland on the play. Replays showed there should have been a flag for illegal use of the helmet.

On first and 10 from Kansas City's 26-yard line with 1:48 to go in the half, Mayfield hit Rashard Higgins on the right side. As Higgins stretched out to get into the end zone, he was hit by Chiefs safety Dan Sorenson. The ball was jarred loose and rolled into the end zone and out of bounds. Kansas City was awarded the ball on a touchback.

Higgins fumbled the ball before crossing the goal line and therefore the touchback call was correct. But there's more.

Sorenson clearly led with his helmet, which is illegal. He lowered the crown of his own helmet and hit Higgins in the side of his:

Here's another look:

That should have been Browns' ball after a personal foul, instead the Chiefs got it at their own 20-yard line. Kansas City proceeded to drive down into field goal range and added three points as the half expired. It was potentially a 10-point swing based on one missed call.

The Chiefs lead at the half 19-3, and the Browns have a right to be upset.

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