The Kansas City Chiefs took down the Cincinnati Bengals, 23-20, in Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday night, but it was clear who was the better team.
The Bengals held all of the momentum in the second half and its offense was firing on all fronts; the Chiefs, on the other hand, were leaning on a ineffectual run game with Patrick Mahomes limping and with two of their top receivers out due to injury.
A Chris Jones sack forced the Bengals to punt late in the fourth quarter, yet given how sterile the Chiefs' offense looked and with the score tied 20-20, the two teams looked ready to square off in overtime.
With eight seconds left to go, Chiefs were still ten yards away from field goal territory following a desperate Mahomes scramble to the sidelines, and then Bengals fans' hearts broke all at once.
Cincinnati edge-rusher Joseph Ossai made a careless mistake in pushing Mahomes after he ran out of bounds. The referees immediately threw the flag for unnecessary roughness, and just like that, the Chiefs were teed up for a potential game-winning 45-yard field goal.
It's a tough pill to swallow since Ossai put together a solid 2022 campaign and recorded five total tackles, two quarterback hits, one tackle for loss, and one pass defended in the championship game.
Bengals DE Joseph Ossai commits a costly end-of-game blunder in AFC Championship
Take a look at how Twitter reacted to Ossai's heartbreaking play:
Please don't be too hard on Joseph Ossai. One bad play does not a bad player make.