The first half of Super Bowl 55 featured three things that caught everyone’s attention. First, Tom Brady threw for a trio of touchdowns as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers scored 21 points. Second, the Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs scored six points and generally looked like a shell of themselves on both sides of the ball.
But the big thing that got people talking was the sheer number of penalties that got called against the Chiefs that benefitted the Bucs, with a handful of them seeming awfully suspect. Kansas City got dinked for eight first half penalties that gave Tampa 95 total yards, with the Bucs’ second and third scoring drives coming after ticky tacky calls benefitted them — Charvarius Ward got called for holding on a third-and-4 on the former that negated a Tyrann Mathieu pick on the former, while pass interference calls against Bashaud Breeland and Mathieu handed Tampa 42 combined yards on the latter.
Brady has made opponents pay for their mistakes numerous times over the years, but detractors would absolutely say that the officials have been awfully kind to him in his career. As such, the myriad of calls against the Chiefs led to Twitter exploding and claiming that something is afoot.
This is terrible officiating. It’s the Super Bowl. Let them play
— Ed Werder (@WerderEdESPN) February 8, 2021
This referee show is boring
— Marcus Thompson (@ThompsonScribe) February 8, 2021
Wooooooooooooooooooow! It’s getting obvious 😂😂
— Darius Leonard (@dsleon45) February 8, 2021
— Keenan Allen (@Keenan13Allen) February 8, 2021
Zebras on the run again
— DeMarcus Cousins (@boogiecousins) February 8, 2021
Chiefs o5.5 penalties the easiest cash since the National Anthem over
— Nick Kostos (@TheKostos) February 8, 2021
Is it possible #Pac12Refs have infiltrated the Super Bowl?
— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) February 8, 2021
Chiefs have 95 yards of penalties. 125 yards of total offense. Ouch.
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) February 8, 2021
KC: 8 for 95 yards
TB: 1 for 5 yards
And you thought home field advantage didn't matter!
— Football Perspective (@fbgchase) February 8, 2021
This is ridiculous. The refs are all over this game. Who could possibly be enjoying th— pic.twitter.com/xhZzhAkKcu
— Zack Pierce (@ZPathletic) February 8, 2021
the chiefs are gonna get called for like four flags during halftime
— Shea Serrano (@SheaSerrano) February 8, 2021
That’s also a bad call
— Ryan Clark (@Realrclark25) February 8, 2021
CAN SOMEONE TELL THE REF THAT THIS IS THE F****** SUPERBOWL?!!! THEYRE BLOWING THIS GAME
— Wosny Lambre (@BigWos) February 8, 2021
OK, now THAT one was uncatchable.
— Aaron Schatz 🏈 (@FO_ASchatz) February 8, 2021
Ok these refs tripping tripping
— Master (@MasterTes) February 8, 2021
A lot of penalties again going TB way
— nick vanexel (@vanexel31) February 8, 2021
There is, of course, plenty of time for Kansas City to try and pull off a comeback. Then again, the Chiefs sure would like it if the referees let some more stuff go over the game’s final 30 minutes.