The Kansas City Chiefs will long lament a decision at the end of the first half of Sunday's 27-24 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Championship Game.
With the chance to kick a field goal from the 1-yard line with five seconds remaining and take a 24-10 lead, the Chiefs instead called a swing pass to Tyreek Hill. But Hill was stopped short of the goal line, ending the half without netting Kansas City any points, and head coach Andy Reid acknowledged it wasn't a great call after the game.
What a stop by the <a href="https://twitter.com/Bengals?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Bengals</a> defense to end the half! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NFLPlayoffs?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NFLPlayoffs</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/RuleTheJungle?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#RuleTheJungle</a><br><br>📺: <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CINvsKC?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CINvsKC</a> on CBS<br>📱: <a href="https://t.co/dKNUFkxkbU">https://t.co/dKNUFkxkbU</a> <a href="https://t.co/Rxtmq9cnBt">pic.twitter.com/Rxtmq9cnBt</a>
"I probably gave [Mahomes] the wrong play," he told reporters.
"I could have given him something better than that, where the play was open in the end zone," Reid added. "And then we wouldn't have had to go through that. I'll take responsibility for that one."
Reid believed the Chiefs could have gotten one more play in, even with only five seconds remaining:
Had Mahomes taken a quick shot to the end zone, they may have had a chance to squeeze one more play out of the drive, in which case they might have settled for the field goal. But Mahomes' decision to go with the swing pass eliminated that possibility.
Granted, it wasn't the only opportunity the Chiefs blew in the game. On the last drive in regulation, Kansas City had a 1st-and-goal on the 5-yard-line with 1:30 remaining. But a one-yard run and two straight sacks pushed the Chiefs back to 26-yard-line and eliminated the chance for a game-winning touchdown.
Harrison Butker's field goal sent the game to overtime, and the Chiefs won the toss. But a Mahomes interception on the third play of that drive gave the ball back to Cincinnati, and Joe Burrow promptly drove the Bengals into position for the game-deciding field goal.
Those moments were the difference between the Chiefs going to their third straight Super Bowl and losing their second AFC Championship Game in the past four years. The duo of Reid and Mahomes has led the Chiefs to great heights, but on Sunday, a few questionable decisions cut Kansas City's title aspirations short.