The Cincinnati Bengals hosted the Kansas City Chiefs during Week 13 and escaped with a narrow victory over Patrick Mahomes‘ squad. The Bengals won by a score of 27-24. The win marked Cincinnati’s third-straight win over KC since beating them twice in January 2022. However, Brittany Mahomes, wife of the Chiefs’ star quarterback, was not happy with the referees during the game.
One of the leaders of Cincy’s defense, Jessie Bates III, seemed to flop horrendously at one point during the matchup. The incident occurred as the Bengals’ D was pressed against their own end zone.
In the clip below, analyst Tony Romo narrates exactly what’s going on to cause Bates to pretend to be injured. He says that two Bengals defenders are running onto the field and are late. The Chiefs break the huddle and line up to snap the ball, and since they weren’t ready, Bates goes down with a “cramp.”
Bates does his best acting job as he winces in pain and holds his leg. While we always want to err on the side of caution with injuries, it’s safe to say this injury wasn’t legitimate.
Brittany Mahomes took to Twitter to complain about the referees in the game. She retweeted an image of a referee wearing a tiger-stripe shirt as if the ref was supporting the Bengals.
The original poster wrote: “I shared this earlier this week. It’s proving quite accurate.” Under that caption, the picture of the orange tiger-striped referee read: “NFL has released special ref uniforms for the Chiefs @ Bengals game on Sunday.”
She continued blasting the refs as she felt the calls continued unjustly going toward the Bengals. “Woweeeeee we got a call for us,” she wrote when the Chiefs received a positive call. But as the decisions continued to come for the Bengals, she added: “I mean at this point it’s just a joke. We can never catch a break.”
She then went on further, reposting a video of Bates’ flop. “Like is this actually allowed?” she asked before adding a laughing emoji above the clip.
Brittany Mahomes Wasn’t the Only One to Point Out the ‘Injury’
Before the play, Bates seems completely relaxed as he looks on at the substitutes. Once he realizes what’s going on, he drops as if there was a sniper on the roof. The clip ends showing Bates walking back perfectly normal under his own power as a trainer walks alongside him.
Brittany Mahomes isn’t the only person to point out the faux injury. Dozens of people online pointed out the incident. And in the broadcast booth, both Tony Romo and Jim Nantz seemed tickled by the situation.
Romo jokingly gets into the character of a Bengals player: “‘Bates, go down! Go down! Go down! Oh, I got a cramp. Oooh, that one really hurts. Ah, let me get off. Okay.'”
Then, he sarcastically adds: “That wasn’t fake at all.”
In this highly contested rematch of the AFC Championship Game, it comes as no surprise that these teams were willing to take whatever competitive advantage they could to win the game.
Considering these are two of the top teams in the AFC and the league, it feels that they may be destined to meet again in the playoffs.
The Chiefs were about to score when Bates went down with his… “injury.” However, his Oscar-worthy efforts were all for naught, as the Chiefs ended up scoring three plays later on a two-yard plunge from Jerick McKinnon.
Whatever the case may be, whether he was actually injured or pretending to be to gain a competitive edge, we’re sure the league will review the incident.
Brittany Mahomes will have to travel to Denver to watch the Chiefs in-person next week, as the Broncos host Kansas City on Sunday.