Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports
With 12:17 left in the second quarter, Blaine Gabbert threw a pass down the right side to Cecil Shorts. At first, it appeared Shorts had made a fantastic catch. Then the ball popped out before Shorts reached the ground. The pass was ruled incomplete.
A challenge flag appeared on the field. I missed the explanation of the challenge and assumed it was Andy Reid challenging the play to change the ruling to a catch and fumble recovered by Kansas City.
Upon viewing the replay, it was obvious Shorts had never had possession of the ball and the pass was correctly ruled incomplete. I laughed at Andy Reid, who had wasted a challenge. Classic Andy!
When the ruling was announced, I was stunned to realize it was Gus Bradley who had challenged the ruling on the field.
Bradley apparently felt Shorts had caught the ball and had been down by contact before the ball came out.
I watched the replay several times, and my initial thoughts on the play were confirmed. This was a horrendous challenge. There were three potential outcomes:
- The ruling on the field would stand. The Jaguars would lose a time out and a challenge.
- The ruling on the field would be overturned. The pass would be ruled a completion and Shorts would be ruled down by contact.
- The ruling on the field would be overturned. The pass would be ruled a completion followed by a fumble recovered by the Chiefs.
Two of these three potential outcomes are negative, and the replay was pretty clear. Bradley essentially wasted a challenge. I'm not sure if he simply got bad advice from his review team or decided on his own that it was a catch, but this was an error in judgment that could have cost the Jaguars big-time if the game had ended up being close.