The dumbest rule in sports kept the Cleveland Browns out of the AFC Championship Game.
Let’s set the scene.
The Browns were driving for a score at the end of the first half in Sunday’s divisional round playoff game in Kansas City against the Chiefs.
Quarterback Baker Mayfield hit wide receiver Rashard Higgins with a strike in the red zone.
Higgins dove for the end zone, extending the ball toward the goal line.
As he did, Chiefs safety Daniel Sorensen laid a huge hit on Higgins.
The ball came loose and dribbled out of the side of the end zone.
By rule, the play was considered a touchback, and Kansas City got the ball at their own 20-yard line.
To make matters worse, the officials missed a clear and blatant helmet-to-helmet hit by Sorensen that absolutely should’ve been flagged.
Patrick Mahomes took his team down the field and tacked on a field goal before the end of the half.
It was effectively a 10-point swing.
The Browns ended up chasing the game the entire 2nd half and ultimately lost by 5 points.
All because of a ridiculous, made up for no reason rule that continues to be enforced by the NFL.
Why is it that if I fumble out of bounds at the 1-inch line, I keep the ball, but if it bounces forward into the end zone, my opponent gets it?
It’s stupid. It’s non-sensical. It needs to be changed.
And, it cost a starving franchise a chance to feast in a conference championship game.