Chiefs head coach Andy Reid implied that James flopped on the play when Steven Nelson was called for a holding penalty on the return.
“[James] knew he was outflanked, so he literally flopped,” Reid said. “Nelson put his hands out, put him down and the kid just jumped into his body. Obviously from the officials’ perspective it didn’t look like that.”
James flatly disagrees with Reid’s assessment of the play.
“I got blocked, in my back,” James said, via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. “So, you get blocked in your back and you fall. Nah man, this ain’t basketball. It’s kind of hard to flop in football.”
Upon review of the play, James certainly appears to get shoved in the back by Nelson. Is there a chance he embellished a little bit? Possibly. However, he was pretty clearly blocked in the back.
The fact that the penalty called was holding makes it look questionable in retrospect. James didn’t appear to be held, but a block in the back is still a penalty that would have negated the touchdown return. Regardless, it’s not something James is dwelling on now.
“It’s not a big deal, that game is over,” James said. “I’m over that game. I’m focused on the Patriots.”