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On the Ball: The NFL’s biggest games continue to be decided by a yellow flag

The National Football League has a clear officiating problem and it continues to ruin the best moments in the sport. 

After all 18 weeks of the NFL regular season and the playoff games leading to the Super Bowl, the NFL got the Super Bowl that they wanted. The Kansas City Chiefs vs. The Philadelphia Eagles.

The two teams with the most wins, the most points scored, the MVP vs the MVP runner up, the two teams with the most all-pro players and even then, the game came down to officiating. 

Both teams played a great game and ultimately who would win came down to whoever had the ball last. It just so happened that if it weren't for a controversial penalty, the Eagles would have had the ball last and the young Eagles quarterback, Jalen Hurts, would have had a chance to drive down the field and make his team world champions. Alas, it did not go this way for the Eagles. 

The game was tied 35-35 with under two minutes to go, the Chiefs had the ball inside the redzone on third down and long and the Eagles came up with a big stop on a pass to the endzone. At least that’s what should have happened. 

Instead, as they have on multiple occasions this postseason, the flags flew in favor of the Chiefs and a holding was called on Eagles corner James Bradberry, setting the Chiefs up so that all they had to do was kneel down and take the game winning field goal to win the NFL’s biggest game.  

Time and time again we see that a yellow flag decides the winner of the NFL’s most important games and it’s time that something is done about it. 

In last week's Bengals vs. Chiefs AFC Championship game there were several controversial plays that went in favor of the Chiefs that later on NFL rules analysts deemed should not have been called. 

As NFL fans, we do not care to see juggernaut vs juggernaut in the Super Bowl if the whole game will come down to a flag. All we ask is that the game is fair and one team is not benefited from calls and no-calls from the NFL officiating crew. 

The end of the Chiefs vs. Eagles Super Bowl was set up to be one of the most classic games of all time but instead the biggest play in this game was not made by one of the NFL’s premiere players but rather one of the NFL’s referees. 

As Greg Olson said on the broadcast in the closing minutes of the game, “You’ve got to let them play on this stage…I don’t love that call.”

After outrage from last week's games and pretty clear officiating mishaps, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was forced to respond to the fans' grumbles. During Super Bowl media day, Goodell stood behind the NFL’s officials going as far as to say that officiating is “as good as it’s ever been.”

This quote sparked more outrage from fans all across social media. The NFL officiating problem is obvious and the NFL can not keep running away from it. Super Bowl LVII only reinforced this idea even more. 

Even after all the officiating controversy, the Chiefs played an all time game and deserve their praise. The defense looked as good as ever in the second half and received a boost from their special teams on the longest punt return in Super Bowl history by Kadarius Toney. 

It was a true team effort by the Chiefs, but as fans everywhere outside of Missouri see, the team effort included a little help from the NFL officials. 

Last year the Buffalo Bills season ended due to unjust NFL overtime rules that did not give Buffalo a chance to win the game. As soon as this happened the NFL changed their rules so that a team would always be given a chance to win in the playoffs. If we were willing to change this rule for the Bills then we need to change the way officiating is done in order to have a completely fair playoff system. 

Robert is a freshman studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views expressed in this column do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk to Robert? Tweet him @robertkeegan_

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