De’Anthony Thomas took the handoff and dashed around the corner to the right pylon. His foot stepped inside the end zone, but the ball — according to the official, who ruled him out at the 1-yard line — never crossed the goal line.
The play happened during Sunday’s 19-17 loss to the Titans at Arrowhead Stadium. Chiefs coach Andy Reid declined to challenge the spot, instead trusting his assistant in the coaches’ box who believed that call was correct.
“We’ve got to get the ball across — you’ve got to get the ball across,” Reid said Monday. “It’s pretty clear … the official was standing right there. It’s not his foot; it’s the football that’s got to get across the front of that pylon.”
The referee ruled that Thomas’ right foot hit out of bounds with the ball short of the goal line. To overturn that, there needed to be a clear shot showing the ball breaking the plane (there wasn’t).
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Had Thomas dived and touched the pylon, it would have been ruled a touchdown. But when running back Spencer Ware attempted that earlier this season against the New York Jets, the ball started to wobble before he touched the pylon, and the Chiefs lost possession when it was ruled a fumble out of bounds, per NFL rules.
“You can keep the ball secure and get yourself a bit lower,” Reid said, when asked what Thomas could have done differently. “He thought he was all the way across. His foot was, the ball wasn’t.”