Dee Ford doesn’t deny the role he played in his team’s AFC championship loss.
The Chiefs linebacker admitted he was at fault for lining up offside on a play late in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game against the Patriots that could have cost Kansas City a trip to Atlanta for Super Bowl 53.
“That was an opportunity for the whole city of Kansas City to make history,” Ford said, via the Kansas City Star. “It is what it is at the end of the day. I’ll take it on the chest, and I’m going to use it as motivation. Sloppy football on my end at the end of the day, whether it’s six inches, however many inches I was offside.”
Ford’s penalty negated an interception by Chiefs cornerback Charvarius Ward with 54 seconds to play as the Chiefs held a 28-24 lead. Had the pick not been overturned, Kansas City could have run out the clock.
Instead, the Patriots scored and the Chiefs kicked a field goal to send the game to overtime. New England won the coin toss, and eventually the game, 37-31.
In total, Ford tallied two offside and two neutral-zone infractions this season.
“He did have a great season,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. “He was doing everything possible to try to get to the quarterback. Like I said, it wasn’t but by a few inches. I thought it was legitimate. He was — it looked like on the angle of our camera, at least, that he might have been off by a tad.
“Normally, you’re warned and the coach is warned when somebody is doing that before they throw it a game of that magnitude. But they did (throw the flag), and he didn’t waste any time doing it. He didn’t wait until the interception to throw it. He had his hand on his flag right from the get-go, so he saw on his angle and felt that that was the call.”