It doesn’t take an NFL fan to know the Super Bowl officials had it in for the defending champions Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Chiefs 31-9 in Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.
Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady won his 7th Super Bowl ring and fifth Super Bowl MVP trophy.
It wasn’t supposed to be that easy for the 43-year-old who was facing media darling Patrick Mahomes, the Chiefs 25-year-old quarterback.
The game was marred by a flurry of foul calls that halted any momentum the Chiefs could muster. It was the first time in Mahomes’ NFL career that he failed to score a single touchdown in a game.
Kansas City was flagged 11 times for a combined 120 yards, while the Buccaneers received just four flags for 39 yards.
An interception by Kansas City’s Tyrann Mathieu that would have put Mahomes within striking distance of the end zone was called back on a holding penalty with the Chiefs down 7-3 in the second quarter.
When Tampa settled for a field goal after failing to convert a fourth down, they were gifted with a first down after Kansas City’s Mecole Hardman lined up offside, resulting in a penalty flag being thrown.
Brady took advantage of the opportunity by hitting Rob Gronkowski for a 17-yard touchdown.
Mahomes’ mother, Randi Mahomes, was livid after the game. She put the blame for the Chiefs’ stunning loss squarely on the Super Bowl officials.
“If you have the ref on your team is that really winning!!!,” she tweeted to Brady’s wife, Gisele Bündchen.
Chiefs defensive lineman Chris Jones also questioned the officiating.
“I mean, penalties cost the game either way,” he said. “Only the referees can call the penalties. So the penalties affect the game 1,000 percent. What can I say? We had a lot of penalties called on us today.”
Jones said he was “surprised” at the number of calls that went against his team.
“This is the Super Bowl. Usually you let the guys play, especially in the biggest game of the year. Penalties can change the game,” he said.
Brady was not the favorite to win the Super Bowl because he refused to denounce his friend, former President Donald Trump.
Social media users were outraged that Brady refused to wear a mask on the bench or during post-game celebrations.