Kadarius Toney’s overturned TD dooms Kansas City Chiefs in 20-17 loss to Buffalo Bills

Kadarius Toney

First, it was dropped passes against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 11. And now, it’s Sunday’s offsides call against the Buffalo Bills.

In both cases poor wide receiver play in the final two minutes cost the Kansas City Chiefs a victory, and Kadarius Toney’s penalty to nullify his own highlight-reel touchdown was the latest unfortunate example as the Chiefs lost 20-17 to the Bills at Arrowhead Stadium.

After Tyler Bass’ 39-yard field goal gave Buffalo a three-point lead, the Chiefs still had plenty of time left to move into position and tie the game. With 1:12 remaining and the Chiefs at Buffalo’s 49-yard line, Patrick Mahomes threw over the middle to his favorite target, tight end Travis Kelce.

As Kelce was about to get tackled at the 20, he turned and threw a perfect lateral to Kadarius Toney, who raced 24 yards to the end zone for an apparent go-ahead touchdown.

Excitement over the extraordinary play soon ended, however, because Toney was penalized for lining up in the neutral zone, thus negating the touchdown.

The play completely deflated the Chiefs, who still had two opportunities to move into field goal range to tie the game. But Mahomes’ next two passes fell incomplete, and the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs (8-5) ended up losing their second straight game, falling two games behind in the race for the AFC’s No. 1 seed.

Kadarius Toney

Continuing issues for Kadarius Toney and Chiefs receivers

It’s been a difficult season for the Chiefs’ wide receivers, and Kadarius Toney’s untimely mistake once again cast the position group in a negative light, although penalties haven’t been the main issue.

While the Chiefs’ offense leads the NFL in penalties, the receivers as a whole have only committed five. The offsides call against Toney was his first penalty all season.

But three weeks earlier, the Chiefs, who entered the game with a league-leading 32 dropped passes, whiffed on several against the Eagles, but none more critical than Marquez Valdes-Scantling’ miss near the end zone with less than two minutes left as the Chiefs lost, 21-17.

When Mahomes returned to the sidelines as the clock was winding down to the end of another disheartening defeat, he was extremely agitated and slammed his helmet in anger.

What about non-call on Von Miller?

On the play following the Kadarius Toney penalty, Bills linebacker Von Miller appeared to jump offsides, but there was no flag thrown and Mahomes threw an incomplete pass on third down.


Mahomes gave the referees an earful after the game, and many assumed he was yelling at them over the non-call on Miller. Yet when he was asked about it during the postgame press conference, Mahomes was focused on the Kadarius Toney penalty and took issue with the officials deciding the game by throwing a flag instead of letting the players determine the outcome.

Part of Mahomes’ overall frustration about the officiating can be tied to the declining play of the Chiefs’ offense, which has failed to score 20 points in four of the past six weeks.

In the end, whether Mahomes agrees or not, the officials need to make the right call on every play, no matter when they occur over the course of the game. So, what’s true about Kadarius Toney, who was clearly lined up in the neutral zone, should have been true for Miller, who also was clearly offsides.

The onus is on the players not only to make game-changing plays to win the game, but also to follow the rules and not put themselves in position for the officials to penalize them.

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