A controversial holding penalty made by the officials at Super Bowl LVII between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles directly led to a game-winning field goal by Chiefs’ kicker Harrison Butker to seal the victory for Kansas City. Stats have emerged about Carl Cheffers’ crew, who were the officials for the game, and how often they call defensive holding, which has made the NFL world extremely upset.
According to Jeff Howe of The Athletic, Cheffers’ crew had gone 576 consecutive snaps without calling a defensive holding penalty before calling one in the final moments of the Super Bowl. This dates all the way back to December 24th, officiating three games in a row without a holding call on the defense.
Referee Carl Cheffers' crews had gone 576 consecutive snaps without calling a defensive holding penalty before the decisive Super Bowl flag. Last called in Bills-Bears on Dec. 24. Nothing in Packers-Vikings, Eagles-Giants, Bengals Bills before the late James Bradberry penalty.
— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) February 15, 2023
There was already a ton of controversy about this call. It is safe to say that this stat has only added to fans’ frustrations about the crucial penalty on Eagles cornerback James Bradberry.
This is the issue. People need to stop making it about hold vs no hold.
What is the actual likelihood that there was no defensive holding penalties in 576 straight snaps?
— Pats Buzz (@PatsBuzz) February 15, 2023
U Gon tell me something ain't up? https://t.co/DA6e8h1l2y
— Kul ku kan (@LTVillan) February 15, 2023
— mid-life crisis actor (@Southern_Philly) February 15, 2023
If you think there was no defensive holding in those previous 576 snaps, I have some oceanfront property in Nebraska to sell you. https://t.co/4XRRWtIOki
— Mike (@mike__bauer) February 15, 2023
And, so in, lies the problem. https://t.co/2FYrKzO2wn
— Matt 🦡 (@MShadows17) February 15, 2023
Well that’s a very interesting stat. I think it was a deserved penalty but maybe some insight on why JB thought he could get away with it https://t.co/YOQnuvD9lm
— Ryan Dunleavy (@rydunleavy) February 15, 2023
While this stat may lead some to believe that the call was not correct, Bradberry did admit after the game that even he believed that he held on the play.
“I pulled on his jersey. They called it. I was hoping they would let it ride,” said Bradberry after Sunday’s entertaining matchup.
James Bradberry: I pulled on his jersey. They called it. I was hoping they would let it ride. pic.twitter.com/JwCi4laT56
— JosinaAnderson (@JosinaAnderson) February 13, 2023
It seems pretty cut and dry that Bradberry held on the play. The issue is that holding happens on both sides of the ball on nearly every play, and it may not have been a justifiable call to make in such a crucial moment for both teams.
Regardless, it is a play that Eagles fans will never forget, and one that Chiefs fans will likely omit years from now when they look back at their Super Bowl victory.