Why Kadarius Toney was called offsides in Bills-Chiefs, explained by current and former refs

If you're reading this, I'm sure you're familiar with the dramatic ending to Sunday's thrilling game. kansas city chiefs And that buffalo bills.

But as a quick refresher, I'll give you a quick summary for those just getting interested in the news. With the Chiefs trailing 20-17, it looked like Kansas City would score the winning touchdown with just over a minute left, but this was the game that could have been the NFL's play of the decade. Patrick Mahomes connected with Travis Kelce on a downfield throw, and Kelce turned his former quarterback around and threw a perfect lateral spiral to Kadarius Toney, who flew into the end zone for a TD.

Unfortunately for the Chiefs, the play was called back as Toney lined up in the neutral zone.

The play in question can be seen here.

And this is the moment just before the ball breaks. Creed center on his 49.5 yard line of the Bills and he sees the football in Humphrey's hands. You can also see Toney's right foot on his 49-yard line for the Bills.


After the game, the Chiefs were clearly unhappy with the call-up. Mahomes was furious on the sideline, during a postgame handshake with Josh Allen, and in a press conference with the media. Head coach Andy Reid similarly expressed his displeasure. Both appeared to be more critical of the fact that no warnings were issued, indicating it was fairly standard procedure.

However, some former referees and those involved in the game object to the idea. Immediately after the game, rules analyst Gene Steratore said, CBS Sports and former NFL personnel, This is what I wanted to say:

Steratore wasn't the only one to terminate calls in the aftermath.Matt Derrick covering the Chiefs chiefs digest and it is Professional Football Writers Association Pool reporters for this game spoke with both NFL Senior Vice President of Officiating Walt Anderson and umpire Karl Chaffers after the game.

According to the report, Mr. Chaffers called Mr. Toney's adjustments “a gross violation.” Furthermore, Chaffers pointed out that while a warning would normally be given, it was not necessary, especially if “the ball was lined up so far offside that it actually obstructed our view.”

As Chaffers stated, “…ultimately they are responsible for wherever they line up.”

You can read the full report here:

This may be of little consolation to the Chiefs and their fans, who believe that perhaps their best play of the season came down as a result of this call-up. To make matters worse, officiating has – as it often does – become a major storyline this season.

But as explained by those familiar with the rulebook, it appears to have been the right decision.



Sign up to stay informed to breaking news