Kyle Shanahan and the San Francisco 49ers have plenty of blame to go around for squandering a 10 point lead in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LIV against the Kansas City Chiefs. Still there is some that goes in the direction of the officiating crew led by Bill Vinovich.
The first controversial call came late in the second quarter when Jimmy Garoppolo went deep and connected on a beautiful throw to tight end Geroge Kittle for a 42 yard completion. Putting the 49ers in an excellent spot for at least an attempt at the end zone or a last second field goal to close out the half.
Instead Kittle got called for offensive pass interfence. The explanation for the call is shown in this tweet.
— NFL Officiating (@NFLOfficiating) February 3, 2020
Those on Twitter immediately blasted the ruling using the example of a Kyle Rudolph touchdown reception in which no flag got thrown.
What about here?? pic.twitter.com/3bgYzVu7Tl
— Bad Sports Refs (@BadSportsRefs) February 3, 2020
Also ignored is that Kittle got grabbed first necessitating extending his arm to create only a tiny bit of separation to make the catch. The flag needed to get picked up and a no call warranted.
In the fourth quarter that’s when the officiating seemed to get worse. Three blown calls played a key role in the Chiefs comeback. First with a little under 10 minutes remaining and the 49ers facing a 3rd and 14, Tanoh Kpassagnon jumped offsides. No flag got thrown and Garoppolo got forced to scramble picking up a few yards in the process.
One wonders how a officiating crew misses somone who is 6’7″ getting a head start.
Chiefs got away with an offsides. How did they miss that?!? pic.twitter.com/usoFFdt4cy
— SUSPENDED AGAIN (@FTBeard1) February 3, 2020
Protecting the head area of a quarterback has become the norm for officiating crews especially if there’s helmet to helmet contact. No flag got thrown on this.
We lost and it sucks. But I’m so mad about the damn referees. The NFL got the finish they wanted all along. There was some plays they should’ve been called pic.twitter.com/3w08FpcfxJ
— Jonathan 49er Faithful (@Jpuma55) February 3, 2020
Still the biggest no call happened with the 49ers on defense. The Chiefs were faced with a third and 15, Patrick Mahomes went deep and connected with Tyreek Hill on a 44 yard completion. He was allotted more time to throw due to Nick Bosa being held by Eric Fisher.
Refs did not cost the 49ers this game, but Nick Bosa was held on that key 3rd and 15 bomb from Pat Mahomes to Tyreek Hill pic.twitter.com/cltYi7SdGy
— Kevin Jones (@Mr_KevinJones) February 3, 2020
If the officiating crew calls holding it then becomes third and 25. Which likely meant a punt and San Francisco getting the ball back with the ability to run clock. A Super Bowl changing non call.