Football Zebras
2016 Postseason2016 Divisional PlayoffsDivisional Playoff liveblog: Steelers at Chiefs

Divisional Playoff liveblog: Steelers at Chiefs

2016 AFC Divisional Playoff

Follow us here for rolling coverage of the calls and rules interpretations of the AFC Divisional Playoff game from Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.

If you have any questions or comments, use the comments section of this post, or tweet us @footballzebras.

Today’s crew is headed by Carl Cheffers.

      Yrs 2016 crew College Occupation
R 51 Carl Cheffers 17   California-Irvine high school principal
U 64 Dan Ferrell 14 Corrente Cal State-Fullerton internal auditor
HL 22 Steve Stelljes 15 Morelli Friends teacher
LJ 45 Jeff Seeman 15 Parry Minnesota corporate real estate
FJ 67 Doug Rosenbaum 16 Morelli Illinois Wesleyan sports park director
SJ 7 Keith Washington 9 Parry Virginia Military Institute manager, law firm
BJ 30 Todd Prukop 8 Corrente Cal State-Fullerton sales
  • Replay: Tom Sifferman
  • Alternates: John Hussey (R), Kevin Codey (LJ), Dale Shaw (FJ)


Ben Austro Ben Austro January 16, 201712:04 am

In a postgame interview, Chiefs TE Travis Kelce thought the holding penalty “was horseshit, flat out,” and took exception with “ref number 51”, referee Carl Cheffers (who threw the holding flag). Cheffers is likely going to be officiating the Super Bowl, and Kelce will be able to watch him from the comfort of his home.

Cameron Filipe Anonymous
Patrick Weber Patrick Weber January 15, 201711:18 pm

2:43 | 4th qtr Great call for offensive holding on the Chiefs’ two-point conversion attempt. Left tackle Eric Fisher clearly restricts Steelers defensive end James Harrison, and the penalty was called.

https://twitter.com/FanSportsClips/status/820846961070718981

Cameron Filipe Anonymous
Mark Schultz Mark Schultz January 15, 201711:03 pm

4:47 | 4th qtr. Back judge Todd Prukop calls the Steelers’ Sean Davis for a personal foul on a hit to Chiefs’ wide receiver Chris Conley. After the play, Chiefs players mixed it up with Davis. In the scuffle, Prukop’s hat was knocked off, leading the announcers to speculate another foul was called but Prukop only ticketed Davis. Davis didn’t mean to do it, but his hit was dangerous and must be called.
https://twitter.com/FanSportsClips/status/820842617235644417

Mark Schultz Mark Schultz January 15, 201710:53 pm

8:08 | 4th qtr. Spencer Ware gets his hands on the face mask of a Steelers’ defender. He then grabs the face mask and shoves the defender by the face mask. Carl Cheffers rightly called Ware for a personal foul face mask penalty.

Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 15, 201710:45 pm
9:48 | 4th qtr. Steelers FG — Chris Boswell 43 yd. PIT 18-10 key
Ben Austro Ben Austro January 15, 201710:38 pm

2:09 | 3rd qtr. Chiefs TE Travis Kelce, who was ejected in a regular season game for accruing consecutive unsportsmanlike conduct fouls, gets upset after a play is shut down and is pushed by Steelers CB Ross Cockrell. A timeout was called right before the snap, and while action continued, Cockrell gave a little push. Kelce came back to Cockrell and shoved him to the ground.

This is an unnecessary roughness, and this won’t count towards a 2&DQ ejection. Only certain unsportsmanlike conduct fouls fall under that rule.

https://twitter.com/FanSportsClips/status/820835280114499585

Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 15, 201710:33 pm
0:10 | 3rd qtr. Chiefs FG — Cairo Santos 48 yd. PIT 15-10 key
Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 15, 201710:09 pm
10:06 | 3rd qtr. Steelers FG — Chris Boswell 43 yd. PIT 15-7 key
Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 15, 20179:44 pm

Steelers 12-7, halftime

Penalties, 5. Kansas City 2/15 (+1 declined), Pittsburgh 2/20.

Replays, 1. Booth review of a turnover (call confirmed).

Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 15, 20179:36 pm
:55 | 2nd qtr. Steelers FG — Chris Boswell 45 yd. PIT 12-7 key
Ben Austro Ben Austro January 15, 20179:24 pm

On the interception, the catch was completely controlled, but since the ball did touch the ground, it was sent in for review. The replay confirmed the catch. The ground did not aid the catch, and firm control of the ball was demonstrated before, during, and after contacting the ground.

Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 15, 20179:20 pm
6:12 | 2nd qtr. Booth review (turnover) — Interception. Call confirmed. key
Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 15, 20179:07 pm
9:18 | 2nd qtr. Steelers FG — Chris Boswell 36 yd. PIT 9-7 key
Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 15, 20178:45 pm
3:51 | 1st qtr. Steelers FG — Chris Boswell 38 yd. KC 7-6 key
Ben Austro Ben Austro January 15, 20178:44 pm

Everyone on both sides of the ball and in the stripes is ready despite the change in kickoff time. The forecast of significant icing this morning could have been dangerous for fans trying to get to the game, so the 1:05 kickoff was moved to 8:20. Last time in my recollection they moved the kickoff (except for 30-40 minute extensions to avoid games overlapping) of a playoff game was the 1989 playoffs, when they had to move the standard 1/4:30 kickoffs to 3/6:30, due to both games being west of the Mississippi. Now, they have that later time as the standard.

Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 15, 20178:36 pm
6:09 | 1st qtr. Chiefs TD — Albert Wilson 5 yd. pass from Alex Smith (Cairo Santos kick). KC 7-3 key
Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 15, 20178:29 pm
9:38 | 1st qtr. Steelers FG — Chris Boswell 22 yd. PIT 3-0 key
Ben Austro Ben Austro January 15, 20178:28 pm

Ben Austro Ben Austro January 15, 20178:25 pm

Ben Austro Ben Austro January 15, 20178:20 pm

Cheffers, and four other officials tonight, are widely speculated to be getting an assignment for the Super Bowl.

Ben Austro Ben Austro January 15, 20178:18 pm

Carl Cheffers is the referee, in his 17th season and 9th as referee. This is Cheffers’ 10th postseason assignment, including 4 Wild Card Playoffs, 4 Divisional Playoffs, and 2 Conference Championships.

Ben Austro Ben Austro January 15, 20178:13 pm

33°, overcast

15 thoughts on “Divisional Playoff liveblog: Steelers at Chiefs

  1. The PF for a hit to the head of a defenseless receiver should never have occurred, the play clock reached 0 before the snap. A blown call that severely hurt the Steelers

  2. If the NFL predetermined Cheffers would get the Super Bowl before the game, the whole notion of a official grading system is a sheer joke. I hated the call on the 2-point conversion, and I had no rooting interest but for a fair game. As Luke above mentioned, there were other missed calls, so why hand the Super Bowl to them? As for the referee grading system, has anyone actually seen it? Seriously, what does it look like and how do you know the officials were graded properly. Just wondering.

  3. Couldn’t agree with Michael more. Obviously the officials grading system is a joke. I would imagine the good ol’ boy system is still in use. When is the multi-billion dollar NFL industry going to use full-time officials. Most of these guys are out of shape, don’t know the rules or enforcement thereof, or simply refuse to make calls. In the Dallas v Green Bay game today. How much of a jersey does a player have to have puled off of his pads before a DB is called for holding? In KC v Pittsburgh, watch all of the Steelers offensive plays & explain to me how a bear hug on a DL/LB is not holding. How is Pouncey’s ability to bulldog the LB around the head as Bell runs by not holding? Then a Super Bowl referee takes the tying points off the board at the end of the game with a holding call? I agree it was. But, it wasn’t the only one of the night yet it was the only one called. Where is the consistency in NFL officiating?

  4. I agree with Kelce, Cheffers took the game away from KC. Obvious PI on Kelce early in the game goes uncalled. Seems they let Pittsburgh grab and hold and then had the audacity to call a hold on a two point conversion. Makes a man wonder about the NFL refs and the gambling aspect.

  5. Ben,
    Again you how lack of understanding of the rules. The sequence is ball hit ground so review not total comtrol but since…..

    Learn the sequential thinking.

  6. And just like super bowl last year you have 5 people and dont even mention biggest discrepancy in the game. The revolutionary delay calls when clock barely hit 0. Usually 2.5 seconds between 0 and flag today under half a second . 80% reduction in time.

  7. This referee favoring the Pittsburgh Steelers has been going on for years. NFL is equal to so-called “pro-wrestling” – or the “globetrotters” – at least those 2 don’t PRETEND to be real. Again, NFL refs are a total joke and the NFL is a farce… I hope we all stop watching… will be the only thing that will make them change.

  8. … and I totally agree with Mike and Casey. Pittsbug linemen held on just about every play. We saw several “bear hugs” that were not “seen” by the refs. But the ref had no problem quickly pulling out his yellow snot-rag
    for the 2 point conversion! Yes that too was a hold, but we saw much worse holding by Pittsbug linemen go without any ref noticing throughout the whole game. NFL is a joke. I will go and watch a movie during the S-B this year – “set-up” bowl – is no longer a “SUPER” one.

  9. steve
    A bearhug is not the same as a takedown. A bearhug gets called if its at the point of attack and the defender is making an attempt to get to the ball carrier vs just ‘happy to be there’. A takedown will always get called. Just the way its being taught at all levels of officiating

  10. I’m disappointed Gene is not getting the Super Bowl, just curious Ben, what were all the problems in the Sea/ Atl game that got his grade so low, compared to Cheffers.??. Personally, with no skin in the game, it was a clear hold on the 2 point play, sorry Chiefs fans..Corrents’s crew had a nightmare as well, a ton of DPI let go both ways, and the mis- marking of the unsportsmanlike penalty did not help crew.. Pete Morrelli, well enough said there.. Vinovich for sure , and ??? for the Conference Championship games.. Vinovich is another D1 BB official , normally works the West Coast leagues..

  11. Super Bowl officials can lose their spot with a bad postseason game, but going into the Divisional Round the league knows who they want to assign. Gene could have a perfect Divisional Game, but if Carl Cheffers does not do anything to lose the nod, Gene won’t get the Super Bowl. The purpose of assigning Super Bowl officials to Divisional round is to avoid an official having a month off before the most important game. If the league limited the Super Bowl to the Divisional officials who graded the highest in that game only it defeats its purpose.

  12. Sounds like you nailed it this time Michael! We all should know soon, today or tomorrow at the latest the word will ‘leak’ out

  13. To many non calls affected the game not to mention that the clock was running when it shouldn’t have been late in fourth quarter. The PI’s were so blatant you’d have to be blind not to have seen them!!! Refs shouldn’t make only the calls they want it’s very clear who’s side they were on!!! I say fine them along with their so called grading system and I gurneetee their officiating will TREMENDOUSLY improve!!! They cheated KC out of a chance to maybe go to and win a super bowl and made horrible calls and no calls to other teams as well, they need some kind of consequence!!!

  14. Steve gene is out over dez bryant incorrect assumption that ball hit ground in greenbay. Nfl cant have ref who cant understabd rules un super bowl.

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