The Kansas City Chiefs beat the New York Jets, 23-20, on Sunday Night Football, and Gang Green's head coach was not happy. During a late drive, the Jets were called for a controversial defensive holding call that was a game-changer. Robert Saleh was furious about it.
The play came as Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs faced a third-and-20 at New York's 40-yard line with 4:29 remaining in the game. As Mahomes dropped back to pass it appeared no one was open, so he floated a ball down the right side. Michael Carter II intercepted the ball, giving the Jets what would have been a game-changing play. Unfortunately there was a flag on the field, and cornerback Sauce Gardner was called for defensive holding for his coverage of Marquez Valdes-Scantling. The penalty gave the Chiefs an automatic first down.
Saleh couldn't believe it.
Here's the play in question:
By definition, that may have been holding but it wasn't egregious and far more contact than that was allowed all game.
Saleh was quick to react and absolutely exploded at the official who threw the flag:
The Chiefs took advantage of the call and were able to run the clock out, methodically moving the ball down field. After Mahomes scrambled for a first down that sealed the game, Saleh ran onto the field to scream at the official who made the call again. He was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Here's video of the incident:
Safe to say he's not going to get over that call any time soon. And the NFL is pretty likely to fine him for that.
UPDATE: Saleh refused to comment on the play after the game.
Probably the smart decision.