Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs fail to score before halftime as Bengals’ Eli Apple stops Tyreek Hill on questionable play call

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Written By Jacob Camenker

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The Chiefs squandered a potential scoring opportunity at the end of the first half of their AFC Championship Game meeting with the Bengals on Sunday.

There were five seconds left in the first half and the Chiefs had a second-and-goal opportunity from the Bengals’ 1-yard line. Kansas City had no timeouts when Patrick Mahomes snapped the ball. He dumped the ball off to Hill behind the line of scrimmage instead of throwing the ball into the end-zone.

MORE: Chiefs vs. Bengals score updates, highlights

Hill tried to make Bengals cornerback Eli Apple miss, but Apple made the strong tackle in bounds. The clock ran out on the Chiefs as a result of the play.

Andy Reid told CBS sideline reporter Tracy Wolfson that the play was supposed to be a shot to the end-zone, but “it didn’t work out.” Indeed, it didn’t, as Hill wasn’t able to get either into the end-zone or out of bounds to stop the clock and allow the Chiefs one more attempt at either a touchdown or a field goal.

INJURY UPDATE: Bengals lose C.J. Uzomah

The play will also call into question something that has been an issue for Reid during his entire coaching career: clock management. Running a play with five seconds left was certainly possible, but there was little room for error. Mahomes needed to have the wherewithal to throw the ball away instead of completing a pass outside of the end-zone.

He didn’t, and it proved costly to the Chiefs.

The team’s lack of timeouts also proved costly during this sequence. The Chiefs burned one early in the first quarter before electing to challenge a third-down run that had been ruled short of the first-down marker. Kansas City ultimately won the challenge, so if Reid had just thrown the flag before calling a timeout, the Chiefs would have had one more in their pocket down the stretch.

MORE: Bengals-Chiefs refs miss obvious penalty

The Chiefs entered halftime with a 21-10 lead instead of extending their lead to 14 or 18 points. We’ll soon see if their failure to score proves consequential.

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