Leading 28-24 with 1:01 left on the clock, K.C. had the New England Patriots in a third-and-10. Brady sailed a high pass to Rob Gronkowski that deflected off the tight end's fingertips and was corralled by Chiefs rookie corner Charvarius Ward, who held onto the ball long enough for an interception before fumbling it out of bounds. K.C. thought it had an AFC Championship-winning play.
But there was a yellow flag on the field.
Referee Clete Blakeman announced Chiefs linebacker Dee Ford lined up in the neutral zone before the play. Interception negated. The Patriots retained possession, picking up five yards. On the next play, Brady hit Gronk deep for 25 yards to set up a Rex Burkhead touchdown that gave the Pats back the lead with 42 seconds left.
"... They said I was in the neutral zone. I've got to see the ball," Ford said after the Chiefs' overtime loss. "I've got to see the ball. Especially at that time in that game and what was at stake, I've got to see that ball."
The Chiefs would tie the game in regulation when Patrick Mahomes led a 31-second field goal drive. After the Patriots won the coin toss heading into overtime, however, Brady led a touchdown drive against the beleaguered K.C. defense for the win. Mahomes never saw the ball in overtime.
"Yeah, it was very up and down," Ford said of his emotions after the interception was wiped away. "We've got to be better. Me especially on that play, we've got to be better in these games. Every play counts."
After the 37-31 overtime loss,Chiefs coach Andy Reid didn't put the loss on one play or one penalty.
"I'm proud of the way the guys battled back and put us in a position to win the game," Reid said. "Unfortunately, penalties become an issue. Whether I think they were questionable or not, they were there early. We had an interception right at the end to finish the game. (Ford's) one of the quickest outside linebackers in the National Football League and they call him offsides. So I'll take a peek at that, see what it looks like. We gave ourselves opportunities to finish the game."