Eli Apple bailed out after killer penalty nearly destroys Bengals

Cincinnati Bengals, Eli Apple
Cincinnati Bengals, Eli Apple / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

Cornerback Eli Apple nearly cost the Cincinnati Bengals the game in the AFC Championship with a terrible, terrible holding penalty.

In the fourth quarter on a Chiefs' third-and-long, Patrick Mahomes threw an incomplete pass and Kansas City would have been forced to punt it had it not been for a truly egregious Apple penalty.

Apple was applying tight coverage on Chiefs' Marquez Valdes-Scantling and got called for a fairly clear holding penalty, giving Kansas City a fresh set of downs.

Bengals CB Eli Apple avoids embarassment in AFC Championship game

The caveat, of course, is that the Bengals have been on the worst end of referees' calls this game. Prior to that play, there was a bizarre situation in which the Chiefs essentially got a re-do on third down because of a play clock issue.

Head coach Zac Taylor was visibly upset on the sidelines and rightfully so -- the re-do play along with Apple's holding penalty allowed the Chiefs to drive down the field in a critical point in the game. Luckily, the Chiefs' offense couldn't draw up a good enough offensive plan and ended up punting the ball anyway.

Eli Apple gets off the hook this time. Next time, he may not be so lucky.

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