Eagles cornerback James Bradberry discusses decisive holding penalty in Super Bowl loss
from Eric Smithling, with YardBarker.com/www.yardbarker.com
Super Bowl LVII ended not with a bang but with a whistle.
While fans were quick to blast officials for a late defensive penalty against Philadelphia cornerback James Bradberry, the seven-year veteran defensive back took a different approach when talking about the decisive play after the game.
#Eagles CB James Bradberry said in the locker room that he held JuJu Smith-Schuster:
“It was a holding. I tugged his jersey. I was hoping they would let it slide."
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) February 13, 2023
Referees called defensive holding on Bradberry on a third-and-8 after a Mahomes incomplete pass. The five-yard penalty resulted in an automatic first down for Kansas City.
With 1:54 left and Philadelphia holding only one timeout, the Chiefs ran down the clock and kicked a field goal with eight seconds remaining to win the Super Bowl 38-35.
On the play, Bradberry grabbed a hold of wide receiver Juju Smith-Schuster’s jersey but didn’t impede the receiver’s path.
As ESPN’s Bill Barnwell noted, it was hard to reconcile officials throwing a flag on the late fourth-quarter play and not on an earlier play also involving Smith-Schuster.
I dunno how that grab of JuJu on third down earlier in the game wasn’t holding but that was somehow
— Bill Barnwell (@billbarnwell) February 13, 2023
Others chimed in to lament the referees inserting themselves into the biggest moment of the game.
The Refs messed up a Classic game!!!
— Kendrick Perkins (@KendrickPerkins) February 13, 2023
— Annie Agar (@AnnieAgar) February 13, 2023
The fact that the two best teams in the league were throwing haymakers at each other for 58 minutes only for the refs to basically decide the game is really a tragedy.
No professional sports season should end like this.
— Brett Kollmann (@BrettKollmann) February 13, 2023
NFL officiating can be maddingly inconsistent, and that was certainly the case again on Sunday. Super Bowl LVII’s climax featured the referees playing a key role while somehow overshadowing two brilliant QB performances from Patrick Mahomes and Jalen Hurts.
It would be impressive that the NFL could take such an exciting product and allow it to be impacted by uneven officiating if it wasn’t so frustrating.
The league invites such outcomes by employing refs on a part-time basis when it could very well offer full-time employment and still make a profit.
Until the league invests more financially into fixing its officiating issues, they’ll continue to sprout up like a bad game of whack-a-mole.
Luckily for Super Bowl officials, Bradberry owned the holding penalty in his comments after the game.
No one else is coming to their defense.