Cincinnati Bengals edge rusher Joseph Ossai went from hero to zero in the matter of minutes during Sunday’s AFC Championship Game.
The second-year edge guy from Texas had put up two quarterback hits and a tackle for loss leading up to the final seconds of the game.
With it tied at 20 late in the fourth quarter and Kansas City possessing the ball at the Bengals’ 47-yard line, Patrick Mahomes scrambled down the right sideline for a short gain. Unfortunately, Ossai hit him late and out of bounds. It gave Kansas City 15 additional yards from the Bengals’ 42-yard line with just eight seconds remaining.
While there were a ton of questionable calls from officials on hand inside Arrowhead Stadium Sunday evening, this was not one of them. Joseph Ossai hit Mahomes late. It would have been a penalty no matter the game situation.
This is just brutal stuff from the young man. There’s no scenario in which he should’ve made such a dumb mistake. Instead of Kansas City likely letting this play out for overtime, Harrison Butker came in and nailed a 45-yard field goal to give the Chiefs their third AFC Championship in four years.
It must be noted that Butker couldn’t hit from beyond 53 yards in pre-game warm-ups. If Joseph Ossai had not committed this foolish penalty, it would have been hard for Kansas City to get into field goal range with no timeouts remaining and eight seconds left.
By virtue of this penalty, Kansas City heads to Super Bowl LVII to take on Andy Reid’s former Philadelphia Eagles team. As for Cincinnati, its season ends in a bitter manner.