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Rules analyst: NFL has made offensive offsides a point of emphasis this season

Even after his sideline tirade late in Sunday’s loss to the Bills, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was still fuming.

While greeting Bills quarterback Josh Allen after the game, Mahomes expressed his disgust about the offensive offsides call on Kadarius Toney that wiped out an electric and potentially game-winning touchdown.

Former NFL quarterback Robert Griffin III said the officials absolutely should have issued a warning to Toney before throwing the flag.

“An Offsides call erased one of the more creative impromptu plays we have ever seen,” Griffin, who is now an ESPN analyst, wrote on X. “A lateral by Travis Kelce on the same day the man who gave us the Music City Miracle, Frank Wycheck, passed away. Instead of that memory, we are left with more officiating inconsistencies.

“Andy Reid himself said it is customary for a warning to be given in situations like Kadarius Toney’s before a flag is thrown. It’s never been required, but it is the standard. Was Toney offsides? By rule, he was. Should the flag have been thrown without the standard warning? No.”

The penalty was a talking point during the “Sunday Night Football” halftime show.

Rules analyst Terry McAulay said offensive offsides has been a point of emphasis this season, and it’s been called more frequently than in years past.

“This is clearly a foul,” said McAulay, who worked three Super Bowls. “He can’t be past the back of the ball. His whole body is in the neutral zone. It may even be beyond the neutral zone. You can see the receiver at the top lined up perfectly. That’s where he should have been.

“And I would add in past years, this has never been called. This would be technical, this would be a warning. This year it’s been called 11 times as opposed to twice last year and only once in 2021. So this has been consistently called. He needs to be onside.”

That means there has been an increase of more than 500% on offensive offsides calls.

Longtime NFL reporter Peter King wrote in his weekly “Football Morning In America” column that Toney was the 12th player flagged for offensive offsides. The point of emphasis among officials this season is a result of the Eagles’ quarterback sneak.

“An odd call — flagged once in 2021, twice in 2022, and 12 times this year, increasing because of the many times offensive linemen try to get an edge on the Tush Push maul of a quarterback sneak,” King wrote.

He added: “One former official told me Sunday night it wouldn’t be uncommon early in a game for coaches and players to be warned on a play like this, but he said it wouldn’t happen later in the game, particularly on a clear violation such as this.“

That echos what the referee said following the Chiefs’ loss.

Here is an overhead shot of where Toney was lined up on the play.