The NFL's decision to send an all-star officiating crew to Los Angeles definitely didn't work out in the Chiefs' favor on Monday during their wild 54-51 loss to the Rams.
During the first 19 minutes of the game, Kansas City was flagged nine times for 92 yards while the Rams were penalized exactly zero times. After the game, one of the first things that Andy Reid brought up in his press conference was the fact that his team got called for a lot penalties early on. Reid didn't rip any specific call in the game, but he did say, "I don't know about those" when talking about all the flags against his team.
"Too many penalties, a lot of penalties in the first quarter," Reid said, via quotes distributed by the team. "I don't know about those, but they called them, and so we were going backwards when we needed to go forward and you don't want to put yourself in a hole like that."
Even NFL players watching the game at home thought a lot of the calls at the beginning of the game were ticky-tacky.
Soft PI call.— Tyrann Mathieu (@Mathieu_Era) November 20, 2018
Overall, the Chiefs were flagged 13 times for 135 yards in the game, while the Rams were flagged eight times for 60 yards. The penalty yardage total for Kansas City was the second-highest ever for the Chiefs under Reid and the team's second-highest total since 2000.
"We had too many penalties," Reid said. "Thirteen penalties overall and I think eight of them were in the first quarter, so we've got to do a better job of that.
On one specific penalty in the game, Reid didn't even try to hide his anger. On a third-and-goal play for the Rams from Kansas City's five-yard line, the Chiefs were called for pass interference and Reid went off, because he felt that interference shouldn't have been called because the ball had been tipped.
Andy Reid is out here yelling at Jared Goff 😂pic.twitter.com/2iy8Ad8wHu— NFL Retweet (@NFLRT) November 20, 2018
After a short review, the refs picked up the flag and correctly ruled that the ball had been tipped. However, the refs didn't get everything right.
During the fourth quarter, Rams cornerback Marcus Peters took his helmet off to celebrate after picking off Patrick Mahomes late in the game. Removing your helmet while still on the field is supposed to be a penalty, but no flag was thrown.
This one is for LA pic.twitter.com/9aaqiIPUu1— Marcus Peters (@marcuspeters) November 20, 2018
Former NFL referee Terry McAulay told Pro Football Talk that it should have been an easy flag.
"A player removing his helmet in celebration or in anger is just one of those fouls that has to be called regardless of game or situation," McAulay told PFT in a text.
If the penalty had been called, the Rams would have started the ensuing possession on their own 20-yard line, instead of their own 35. In the end, the Rams punted on that possession, before picking off Mahomes again to seal the game.
Although the officials didn't flag Peters for removing his helmet, they did penalize Tyreek Hill for doing a touchdown celebration that he's been doing all year. On the tail end of a 73-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter, Hill put up his standard peace sign and got called for taunting.
Tyreek Hill gave him the peace sign before scoring LOL pic.twitter.com/ys7SJVyl5A— gifdsports (@gifdsports) November 20, 2018
Reid wasn't happy about that call.
Reid notes there needs to be consistency on the taunting calls. Says Tyreek Hill has been doing the peace sign for 2,3 years— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) November 20, 2018
It's good that the NFL wanted to put an all-star crew on a showcase game like the one on Monday, but it's not a great look when most fans came away with a bad taste in their mouth.
The refs whenever the chiefs do anything pic.twitter.com/KSDOnYUcho— Carlos Acevedo (Nito) (@nito_acevedo) November 20, 2018
Of course, no one in Kansas City should blame this loss on the officials. The Chiefs lost because they turned the ball over five times and let the Rams score two defensive touchdowns, and there was nothing controversial about any of those plays.
The Chiefs are on a bye in Week 12, but can get back in the win column at Oakland (Sunday, Dec. 2 at 4:05 p.m. ET, CBS, stream on CBS All Accessor stream on fuboTV, try for free) in Week 13.