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#pounditMonday, June 17, 2024

Bengals’ Eli Apple had bitter reaction to ending of Super Bowl

Eli Apple without a helmet

Nov 21, 2021; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Eli Apple (20) against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Eli Apple had some brutal flashbacks while watching the end of the Super Bowl on Sunday.

Apple’s Cincinnati Bengals lost to the Kansas City Chiefs 23-20 in the AFC Championship Game two weeks earlier. The Bengals were called for a late hit on Patrick Mahomes with 17 seconds left in a 20-20 game. The 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct put the Chiefs into field goal range when they otherwise would have had a fourth-down play. Kansas City was able to make a 45-yard field goal to win the game.

Then in the Super Bowl, the Chiefs had a third-down play and were bailed out by a defensive holding penalty that allowed them to run out the clock and win the game on a field goal.

Seeing a penalty call on a third down play to help set up the Chiefs’ offense to win the game brought back nightmares for Apple.

“Refs win the bowl again,” Apple tweeted.

Apple is an especially outspoken player, so his reaction wasn’t too surprising. He’s also not alone in being frustrated with the officiating, even if the NFL doesn’t see the issue.

The refs did make big calls to help decide each of the Chiefs’ last two games. But let’s not act like the officials caused the Eagles to get fooled by some great red-zone play calls by Kansas City’s offense. In other words, Nick Sirianni is right — Kansas City outplayed them — especially in the second half.

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