For Pete's Sake

Referee who worked Chiefs playoff game reportedly is retiring

Referee Jeff Triplette (white hat) with the rest of the officiating crew before Saturday’s game at Arrowhead Stadium.
Referee Jeff Triplette (white hat) with the rest of the officiating crew before Saturday’s game at Arrowhead Stadium. The Associated Press

For many Chiefs fans, this will be coming one game too late.

Referee Jeff Triplette drew the ire of Chiefs fans for twice blowing his whistle and calling forward progress on Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota, who appeared to fumble during Saturday’s AFC Wild Card Game.

The Chiefs lost 22-21, and some of Chiefs Kingdom blamed the officials.

NFL.com reporter Aditi Kinkhabwala reported that Triplette is planning to retire.

Kinkhabwala tweeted: “Referee Jeff Triplette, who worked yesterday’s ‪#Titans-‪#Chiefs Wild Card game, has told folks around him he's retiring from ‪@NFL officiating. And the heartfelt hugs he exchanged w/ his crew after dinner last night? Def looked like good-byes.”

Here is the tweet:

Mariota lost the ball after a sack by the Chiefs’ Derrick Johnson in the second quarter, and fumbled again on a botched two-point conversion attempt in the fourth quarter. It was ruled forward progress both times.

Chiefs rookie running back Kareem Hunt discussed the offense losing steam in the second half of a 22-21 loss to the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Wild Card playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on Jan. 6, 2018.

“The ruling was forward progress, so therefore it’s not reviewable in that situation,” referee Jeff Triplette told pool reporter Terez Paylor of The Kansas City Star about the Johnson sack.

According to ESPN research, Andy Reid's Chiefs teams are responsible for two of the only four times in modern NFL playoff history a team has blown an 18-point or larger halftime lead.

Pete Grathoff: 816-234-4330, @pgrathoff

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