The NFL will not fine Cincinnati Bengals EDGE Joseph Ossai for his late hit on Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes in the final minute of the AFC Championship game last week, per Pro Football Talk’s Charean Williams.
The penalty would push KC into field goal range, where Harrison Butker nailed the game-winning attempt through the uprights to force the Chiefs into the Super Bowl for the third time in the last four seasons.
It was an unfortunate moment for Ossai, and it wasn’t easy for fans at home to watch the emotions flow from the 22-year-old’s face on the bench postgame. Still, he knows that type of mental error is unacceptable in a moment like that.
“I’ve just got to learn from experience,” Ossai said postgame. “I’ve got to know not to get close to that quarterback when he’s close to that sideline if there’s anything that could possibly cause a penalty. In a situation like that, I’ve got to be better.”
It should be noted that the NFL fined San Francisco 49ers safety Talanoa Hufanga nearly $5,000 for hitting Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts out of bounds late in the third quarter of the NFC Championship game.
What’s Next for the Bengals?
Just like Bengals QB Joe Burrow said, Cincinnati’s Super Bowl window will be his entire career — or at least his entire tenure with the franchise. Burrow has already led the Bengals to the Super Bowl once and despite coming up just short, they know what it takes to get there.
They’ll be in the title picture for years to come, especially when the team locks Burrow down flong-term with a contract extension.
As the Bengals head into the 2023 offseason, the taste of the AFC Championship game will be fresh in their mouths for the months to come. They’ll hope to turn the frustration of facing playoff defeat into a Super Bowl berth for the second time in three seasons this time next year.