The Chiefs’ 23–20 win over the Bengals in Sunday’s AFC championship game sparked controversy in regard to the officiating during the contest.
One of the most significant moments called into question occurred in the second half when the officiating crew seemingly allowed Kansas City to replay a third down.
After the game, referee Ron Torbert offered some explanation as to what transpired during the play. Apparently, one official unsuccessfully tried to stop the clock before the play occurred. However, the play had to be replayed since the previous play was incomplete.
Here’s Torbert’s full explanation:
“On the previous play, there was an incomplete pass,” Torbert said via pool reporter Ben Baby of ESPN. “We spotted the ball, but the line judge came in and re-spotted the ball because the spot was off. We reset the game clock, and the game clock started running. It should not have started running because there was an incomplete pass on the previous play. The field judge noticed that the game clock was running. He was coming in to shut the play down so that we could get the clock fixed, but no one heard him, and the play was run.
“After the play was over, he came in and we discussed that he was trying to shut the play down before the ball had been snapped. So, we reset the game clock back to where it was before the snap and replayed third down.”
Torbert also explained that even though the play wasn’t affected by the official trying to stop the clock, it is still NFL protocol for the play to be redone.
“If we were trying to shut down the play and we couldn’t, we would shut it down and go back and replay the down,” Torbert said.
So, even if some fans aren’t happy with how the officiating crew performed on Sunday night, Torbert expressed that the crew was just following protocol at one key moment.