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#pounditMonday, June 5, 2023

Referee Jeff Triplette tries to explain controversial call

The referees had a rough time during Saturday’s wild card playoff game between the Tennessee Titans and Kansas City Chiefs.

The most notable call of all came late in the second quarter when the Chiefs were up 14-0 on the Titans. Derrick Johnson sacked Marcus Mariota and caused a fumble, which would have been a game-changing play. However, the officials blew the whistle and called the play dead, citing forward progress.

Because forward progress was called, the play was not reviewable.

“The ruling was forward progress, so therefore it’s not reviewable in that situation – the defender hit him, driving him back,” referee Jeff Triplette said after the game, via the Kansas City Star. Triplette also pointed out that the quarterback doesn’t have to be moving forward to make the call.

That’s not much of an explanation, and could be a small admission that the call was blown. The Titans retained possession and ended up kicking a field goal to make it 14-3.

On the ensuing possession, Travis Kelce appeared to fumble after a helmet-to-helmet hit that left him concussed. The officials never stopped the game to review the play, which happened with under two minutes remaining in the half.

Other Chiefs fans grumbled about the officials calling forward progress on a Titans two-point conversion attempt where Marcus Mariota was stripped:

The two-point conversion whistle absolutely was the correct call. But calling forward progress on the sack on Mariota in the second quarter was brutal and there is no excuse for it. Triplette’s crew blew that call badly. This really is nothing new for his crew.

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