Kansas City, Missouri – Cincinnati Bengals players and coaches provided defensive end Joseph Osay Words of consolation and comfort after a penalty kick led to a Kansas City Chiefs field goal in the AFC Championship game.
But in the moments after the 23-20 loss on Sunday, Usai said it was very difficult to deal with the emotions. With red eyes and a hushed tone, Usai lamented the penalty kick in the final seconds that put Kansas City into position. Harrison ButkerA 45-yard field goal on the penultimate play from scrimmage.
“I have to learn from the experience,” Osai said, relaying advice he received from Cincinnati’s defensive end Sam Hubbard. “I’ve got to know not to get close to that middle when he’s that close to that sideline if anything can cause a penalty in a tough situation like this. I’ve got to do better.”
On third-and-four at Cincinnati’s 47-yard line, the Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes He scrambled to his right to get a first down. As Mahomes went out of bounds, Osai shoved Mahomes from behind. The two fell to the ground on the Cincinnati sideline, and Osai was whistled for unnecessary roughness.
“I was in full chase mode,” Osai said. “I was trying to get him to turn back, maybe get him to turn back because I knew he was going on that sideline. I was trying to get him to turn back, run that hour. I hadn’t seen him yet. I don’t know how off limits we were.”
A 15-yard penalty put Kansas City in position to kick with :03 remaining. After winning 10 straight games — and after snapping a three-game winning streak against Kansas City — the Bengals were eliminated from the playoffs in a rematch of last year’s AFC Championship Game.
Usai said he injured his left knee in the Mahomes incident. He will get an MRI to determine the damage, if any.
He also said that Bengals coach Zack Taylor was among those offering cheer after the game.
“He just asked me to keep my head up,” Osai said. “He told me there were a bunch of different plays that we had to do, that it didn’t come down to that play, we just have to keep moving forward.”
There have been many problems plaguing Cincinnati in its attempt to repeat as AFC champion and return to the Super Bowl.
As a team, the Bengals committed nine penalties for 71 yards. quarterback Joe Burrow five times. Kansas City wide receiver Sky Moore is back Drew ChrismanA 29-yard kick, giving the home team the ball at their own 47-yard line with just 30 seconds left in the contest.
Bengals defensive tackle BJ Hillwho cornered Usai while answering reporters’ questions in the locker room after the match, said he had no qualms about Usai taking that penalty.
“I do not have [any] Hard feelings about that play at all because I knew what his intention was: just to play hard.”
Hill praised Usai for his efforts in his first NFL season. The 22-year-old was drafted from the University of Texas in the third round in 2021 but missed that entire campaign after suffering a meniscus injury in the preseason. When Bengals defensive end Trey Hendrickson With a wrist problem at the end of this regular season, Ossai’s use increased.
Against Kansas City and the Mahomes, Usai recorded a team-high two quarterback hits.
“You just build that guy up and let him understand he’s going to drop inches in this league,” Cincinnati defensive tackle dj reader He said. “And there will be a lot of plays to make.
“This play is going to find him again. These innings are going to find him again as a player, and you’re ready for that.”
The reader said he had no doubt about it.
“This pain will drive him to be great,” said Reeder. “He will get there.”
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