Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes pass was intercepted by Jets cornerback Michael Carter II on third-and-20 late in the game, but officials called Gardner for holding on Chiefs receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling. The penalty negated the turnover and gave Kansas City a first down at the Jets’ 35-yard line.
New York coach Robert Saleh was furious over the call and was seen yelling at an official immediately afterward. Gardner also believed officials got the call wrong. The reigning Defensive Rookie of the Year shared his perspective on the play after the game.
“The receiver ran into me. It was a collision,” Gardner said. “The same thing that was happening all game. They ain’t throw no flags. Pat threw the ball outside of the receiver. MC was there. He made the play, and then the ref threw the flag. To me, personally, that’s like when you play basketball one-on-one and you go up to lay the ball up, and you wait to see if you miss and then call the foul. I can’t believe that. That was just crazy.
“I don’t even think they threw the ball my way, at me, the first three quarters. And then they started throwing checkdowns, and the shot they take to get going, they get bailed out by that. Fourth quarter, crunch time, I don’t even know what to say.”
Sauce Gardner on the BS holding call:— Harrison Glaser (@NYJetsTFMedia) October 2, 2023
“The receiver ran into me, there was a collision, same thing that was happening all game, & they threw no flags. Pat threw the ball outside the receiver, MC was there, he made the play, then the ref threw the flag. Me personally, that’s like… pic.twitter.com/U98FrSDgTk
Here’s the play in question.
"Um. We've seen a lot of contact downfield tonight. We have seen a very physical approach out of the New York Jets. And we've seen a lot more than THAT, that wasn't called."- Cris Collinsworth on the Jets being called for defensive holding on the Chiefs' 3rd-and-20 #SNF pic.twitter.com/K5gerpQmRb— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) October 2, 2023
After benefiting from the penalty, the Chiefs were able to run out the clock to seal a 23–20 win. But Gardner and the Jets clearly thought their offense was entitled to at least one more possession.