Both Browns’ and Chiefs’ fans weren’t pleased with last weekend’s officiating, but those feelings may not have been warranted.
Two big hits during last weekend’s divisional round playoff game drastically impacted the game’s outcome. The first occurred when Rashard Higgins was hit by Chiefs linebacker Daniel Sorensen at the KC one-yard line late in the second quarter. Higgins, who was diving to reach the end-zone, fumbled the ball out of bounds in the end-zone which was ruled as a touchback and gave the ball to Kansas City.
Sorensen clearly led with his helmet during the play, as was shown in instant replay. The refs didn’t call a penalty, though. Turns out a no-call might have been justified.
The NFL ruled on Saturday it won’t fine Sorensen for his hit on Higgins, per NFL insider Tom Pelissero.
Two controversial plays from last week’s #Browns–#Chiefs game — Mack Wilson’s takedown that put Patrick Mahomes in concussion protocol, and Daniel Sorensen’s helmet hit on Rashard Higgins that caused a fumble — resulted in no fines from the NFL.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) January 23, 2021
Mack Wilson avoiding any sort of fine for his hit on Patrick Mahomes was expected. There was nothing dirty about it and was clearly a football play.
Obviously, anytime a quarterback of Mahomes’ caliber enters concussion protocol, the league is going to investigate the play the concussion occurred. A replay of Wilson’s hit on the Chiefs quarterback was clearly legal, though. There was nothing “controversial” about it.
Daniel Sorensen’s hit, on the other hand, was questionable to begin with. And it’s a bit of a surprise he avoided both a penalty and a fine for it.
Browns’ fans can’t be happy with the NFL’s latest ruling, but it’s now all in the rearview mirror as the Chiefs prepare for the AFC Championship on Sunday.