Joseph Ossai stood in front of his clean-out locker inside Arrowhead Stadium, while Bengals teammate B.J. Hill stood by for support, and lamented a mistake Sunday night that could easily haunt the defensive end for the rest of his career.
The Kansas City Chiefs were driving for a potential winning field goal in the AFC championship game when Ossai, a second-year pro, gave chase to scrambling Patrick Mahomes. Both were running at full speed when the All-Pro quarterback made it to the Cincinnati sideline, where Ossai gave a push from behind the sent Mahomes sprawling to the ground.
Penalty flags flew and Ossai knew immediately what he had done.
The 15-yard penalty for a late hit was enough to give Harrison Butker a field-goal chance, and the Chiefs’ big-legged kicker barely coaxed the ball over the crossbar, giving Kansas City a 23-20 victory and a berth in the Super Bowl.