James Bradberry Super Bowl holding call

In a season that has seen NFL officials come under fire almost weekly, they might have saved their most controversial call for the worst possible time.

The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Philadelphia Eagles, 38-35, in a thrilling Super Bowl LVII. Unfortunately, a game full of great plays was decided by a controversial penalty.

The Chiefs faced 3rd and 8 on the Eagles 15-yard line with just under two minutes to play. Patrick Mahomes’ pass to JuJu Smith-Schuster was incomplete, but officials flagged Eagles cornerback James Bradberry for holding on the play.

A replay seemed to show only incidental contact. Fox Sports analyst Greg Olsen immediately questioned the call.

“I think on this stage, I think you let ’em play. I think you let ’em play and finish this thing out,” Olsen said.

The result: First down for Kansas City. The Chiefs ran the clock down, kicked a field goal, and one of the best Super Bowls in history ended up decided on what many fans felt was a terrible call.

Ironically, it was only Wednesday when NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told reporters, “For us, when you look at officiating, I don’t think it’s ever been better in the league.”

Eagles fans, of course, were livid with the controversial call, but even impartial NFL fans agreed that a classic game like this should not have ended on this note. College and NFL analyst Kirk Herbstreit noted, “Usually don’t get involved in ripping referees but HATE that defensive holding call.”

[Photo Credit: Fox]

About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.