Patrick Mahomes is a thief. On Sunday evening, he slipped up within the pocket, darted for the primary down, stepped out of bounds, and stole a win from the Cincinnati Bengals. He additionally put defensive finish Joseph Ossai within the highlight for all of the unsuitable causes.
Because the protagonist of the NFL, Mahomes’ deux ex machina arrived within the type of a roughing the passer name in opposition to Ossai. Mahomes’ unimaginable appearing abilities kicked in. The second he felt that contact on his again, he collapsed, bought it in addition to a pedestrian clipped by a luxurious automobile, doing every part wanting complaining about his neck and again till the ambulance chasers arrived. To not go full-Collinsworth on the Mahomes adulation, however he deserves props for having a way of the second.
What was Joseph Ossai considering?
As Mahomes activated his turbo jets for the primary time all day and stepped out of bounds to cease the clock although, Ossai’s mind clicked off and his lizard mind tried to play the hero. The second-year defensive finish toed the road between hero and goat, however stepped over to the unsuitable facet right away. Stopping Mahomes inbounds would have ended the sport, however Ossai was too late. Just a few weeks earlier, Ossai stomped out the Chiefs’ game-ending drive by grazing Mahomes’ ankle on third and brief of their Week 13 win.
Within the waning moments of the AFC Championship, Ossai’s heroics have been pointless. Mahomes was cornered on the sideline 43 yards away. With eight seconds left, Harrison Butker was observing a tough 60-yard discipline purpose try. Given the best way the NFL has coddled quarterbacks to the acute all season, warning was the very best plan of action. Respiration on a quarterback and not using a breath mint is 15 yards. For cross rushers within the fashionable NFL who make contact with quarterbacks, it’s drilled into their heads to make rattling certain they’ve dotted their i’s and crossed their t’s or else flags will come raining down. Typically, the flags come even when they’ve gone via the correct protocol of being mild with the league’s golden calves.
The yardage that officials tacked onto the end shrunk the distance on Butker’s game-winning attempt from the outer rim of his range to a comfortable 45-yard toe-tap. But amid all the jubilation from the Chiefs, CBS’ cameras were trained on Ossai, who was inconsolable on the sidelines. To add insult to actual injury, Ossai’s knee also buckled on the play, and has an MRI scheduled to determine the extent of the damage.
However, the image of Ossai on the sideline is haunting and more memorable than (another) Chiefs’ coronation. The usual vitriol reserved for athletes who commit brain farts was probably mitigated by the visual of Ossai. Ossai appeared genuinely troubled on the sideline and, in the locker room afterward, teammates formed a cocoon around him. There was a temporary clip of linebacker Germaine Pratt angrily questioning Ossai as they entered the locker room, however that seems to have been a heat-of-the-moment tantrum that was rapidly squashed.
Ossai’s teammates had his again
As an alternative, defensive sort out B.J. Hill captured the temper within the locker room by standing beside Ossai, bluntly informing a media gaggle round his locker room, “Any dumb questions and I’m shutting this down.”
Given the best way reporters have demonstrated an absence of tact earlier than and Ossai’s emotional state, his irritation was comprehensible. Ossai’s brainfart finally sank the Bengals, however that’s why we watch the drama. If we needed characters within the real-life drama of stay sports activities who completely hit their cues and execute like robots, league commissioners would simply rent Aaron Sorkin or ChatGPT to script their leagues in entrance of a stay stadium viewers. Hindsight is all the time 20/20.
Sport of Thrones is a extra standard HBO collection than The Newsroom as a result of they precisely depict flawed human decision-making and the brutal penalties people incur after we miscalculate. Ossai took a sharper heel flip than Benioff and Weiss’ closing season, however the Bengals wouldn’t even have been there if it weren’t for Tyler Huntley inexplicably underestimating his vertical and getting stuffed mid-air as he tried to go over the protection contained in the 2-yard line.
Just a few drives earlier, the electrical Patrick Mahomes malfunctioned when he misplaced the ball in the course of his throwing movement, fumbled, and gifted the Bengals with discipline place at midfield. Mahomes’ flub enabled Burrow and Co. to drive down a brief discipline, rating and knot the sport up at 20.
Mahomes goes off-script lots, however his ratio of impeccable performs to blunders is what makes him the face of the league. There’s extra enjoyment derived from watching him than from the prosaic Belichick Patriots.
Whereas the Chiefs put together for a Tremendous Bowl, Ossai’s focus shall be on his psychological and bodily well-being. He can both permit this second to make or break him. Ossai’s mistake will sting, however what doesn’t kill you solely makes you stronger. If it’s any comfort, to err is human — and way more thrilling, if we’re being sincere.