GLENDALE, Ariz. -- One by one, the Kansas City Chiefs were careful about what they had to say about the officiating and the two debatable calls that probably cost them a victory against the Arizona Cardinals.
Andy Reid asked that the line of questioning be changed, presumably because he didn't want to say something he would regret. The principal figure in one of the calls, Anthony Fasano, said he had to see the film, while the principal in the other, Travis Kelce, said, "It was a call."
But it was clear from their manner, if not their words, they thought they had been robbed by two bad calls in their 17-14 loss to the Cardinals. It was left to, of all people, the usually soft-spoken and mild-mannered Jamaal Charles to voice what the others wouldn't.
Charles said the calls that took a touchdown from Fasano in the third quarter and a long catch from Kelce in the fourth were "just crazy."
It sure didn't look like Charles was wrong. Fasano's 19-yard touchdown catch was wiped out when the defender, linebacker Larry Foote, went down with what looked like contact that was minimal or none.
Kelce lost a fumble after he appeared down on the ground and in field-goal range at the Arizona 23. What made this call even more strange is it was changed to a fumble after a video review.
"The reason why we lost is the refs didn't go our way," Charles said.
To be certain, the Chiefs had reasons to make the calls moot. Quarterback Alex Smith threw an interception two plays after the Fasano touchdown was taken away. The Chiefs made a hero of Arizona running back Kerwynn Williams, who two days after being promoted from the practice squad rushed for 100 yards.
But Smith never would have thrown the interception had the Fasano touchdown been allowed to stand. Williams' heroics wouldn't have mattered had Kelce been ruled down.
The Chiefs were irate about both calls. Fasano, after hearing his touchdown was taken away, fired the ball toward the Chiefs' bench in anger.
"Whenever a touchdown is taken away in a key situation, it's going to be emotional," he said while being careful not to place blame.
Meanwhile, Reid was grim-faced as he tried to steer the conversation from the calls.
"I can't comment on the officials," he said in his postgame news conference. "We all have to do our jobs and do them to the best of our ability. Go on to something else, besides the officials. I don't have anything good to say."
When pressed, Reid said he believed Kelce held on to the ball. Kelce agreed.
"I thought I regained control of the ball," he said. "It was called a fumble, and I'm just going to have to live with that."
Kelce then took some blame and said, "It's my job not to even give doubt."
That is also true. The Chiefs have developed the disturbing tendency of breaking down at the absolute wrong time. Arizona's go-ahead touchdown in the third quarter, for instance, happened on a third-and-18 pass.
Maybe a team that can't help itself doesn't deserve a break from the officials. One way or the other, that help didn't come in Arizona.