A fourth-quarter late hit penalty on linebacker Moise Fokou may have helped to change the complexion of the game back in the Kansas City Chiefs' favor.
Fokou hit a scrambling Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith as Smith was running down the sideline and was scampering out of bounds two yards short of a first down.
Fokou was flagged and the Chiefs used the extension of the drive to march to the go-ahead touchdown en route to a 26-17 win.
“The way I looked at it, I thought he was still in. I was going full speed, I left my feet and I don't know how to stop in mid-air,” Fokou offered. “So it was one of those things where you have to look at the film and see if it was a good play or not.
“I think our sideline was really trying to figure out what happened, why the call was made. As a defense, we're just trying to defend every blade of grass. You play your heart out and you just try to get to the ball. The officials felt like it was probably a penalty. I know our sideline thought it probably wasn't, but it's just one of those things where you're battling and playing hard and going full speed and things happen.”
Coach Mike Munchak took issue as well, saying that Jake Locker was not given the call when he was hit on a scramble on the sideline earlier this season in Houston.
“From my view, the quarterback was inbounds when he tried to make sure he didn’t get the first (down). I think there is an inconsistency on how that is called. We have to realize on the boundary call it is going to be called closely, you know be smart there,” Munchak said. “I saw it happen at game speed so obviously we think it should be fourth down there and move on. They got the call and led to their touchdown. That’s one of those things to protect the quarterback, but you want that call both ways, those things. Rather that our quarterback, their quarterback, you want that to be consistent week to week.”
Teammate Bernard Pollard said the Titans have to not take chances there in order to protect the lead.
“You have to look at the situation we're in, and you've got to let that go. It was two yards shy. But we make mistakes and you keep drives going,” Pollard said.