Cincinnati Bengals, Kansas City Chiefs

Patrick Mahomes just put a nail in the Bengals fan conspiracy coffin

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes put to rest the talk of the Joseph Ossai penalty in the AFC Championship Game shouldn’t have counted.

The Kansas City Chiefs punched their ticket to Super Bowl 57 by defeating the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20. Harrison Butker kicked the game-winning 45-yard field goal after a clutch run by quarterback Patrick Mahomes. But during the run, Mahome had already gained the first down on third-and-four, but when he stepped well out of bounds, he was shoved by Bengals defensive lineman Joseph Ossai. That earned the defender an unnecessary roughness penalty and gave the Chiefs 15 more yards to get into easy field goal range.

This AFC Championship Game spurred quite the conspiracy theories, including that Ossai’s penalty should have never been called.

On Thursday, Mahomes was asked about getting shoved by Ossai. The Chiefs quarterback said that that was probably the furthest he’s been out of bounds before getting hit.

Chiefs: Patrick Mahomes puts to rest Bengals fans’ conspiracy

Mahomes expressed how he felt about the play, and it was that he was out of bounds before getting hit. When looking at the play, Mahomes was two steps out of bounds, and if the defender hits the quarterback at that point, the referees will call it.

On Tuesday, Mahomes commented on the play during his weekly appearance on “The Drive” on 610 Sports Radio, saying that while he felt bad for Ossai, the call needed to be made.

“Not the last one, I mean I was pretty far out of bounds and he gave me the extra little push,” Mahomes said, h/t Audacy. “But the guy is playing hard. It’s hard, man, it’s a hard game to play. I was trying to get out of bounds to conserve as much time as possible, and he’s trying to get me out of bounds and not give me the first down.

“It’s a hard play for him to stop. He had a heck of a game, he had been a force the entire game against us, so you feel bad for him because you know that he was giving everything he had. But I was pretty far out of bounds. I knew I was pretty far out of bounds when I got pushed because I hit the bench and that’s pretty far back there.”

Ossai was devastated after the play, as CBS cameras spotted him crying on the bench, where he was consoled by teammates. After the game, Ossai’s teammate B.J. Hill stepped in as he fielded questions from reporters and offered support.

“Like I said, it was great knowing I had the support of my teammates,” Ossai said. “I gotta learn from experience. I gotta know not to get close to that quarterback when he’s close to that sideline if it’s anything that could possibly cause a penalty in a dire situation like that, I gotta do better.”

While debate surrounding the call will continue, the result of the game is finalized. The Chiefs are playing in Super Bowl 57 against the Philadelphia Eagles, while the Bengals’ season is officially over.

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