In a conversation with Talk of Fame Network, former NFL head of officiating and current FOX rules expert Mike Pereira said the Eagles were lined up in an illegal formation on the infamous Philly Special play.
“I know the league came out and said that it’s a judgment call, which it is.” Pereira said. “The down judge, who was the one that (the play) was on his side of the field … they felt that it was his judgment, and he (receiver Alshon Jeffrey) was close enough. Well, he wasn’t. They lined up wrong.
“Not only that, it’s a trick play. And if you’re going to run a trick-type play, then you have to be lined up properly. You could either have six men on the line, or you could have an ineligible number lined up at the end of the line, which was the case. I know what the league has said, but they would have been a lot more comfortable if they would have called an illegal formation.
“We always use a yard (within the line of scrimmage), maybe a yard-and-a-half. But that’s two. And even a little bit beyond two. It’s kind of one of those that has no effect on the play. I get it. But they didn’t line up properly. And it really should’ve been called.”
This is not the first time this topic has been brought up.
The fourth down trick play TS to Nick Foles was an illegal formation, should have been called back...extended WR to the top of the screen is off the ball (needs to be on the line with just the OT on inside him). #SB52 #Eagles #Patriots pic.twitter.com/tdX7hIpiGu— Matt Chatham (@chatham58) February 5, 2018
A few things here.
First of all, Jeffery told reporters after the game that he checked his position with the side judge. He said the down judge told him he was OK.
But don’t just take his word for it. Watch the replay below and see that Jeffery checked with the down judge not once ... not twice ... but three times.
With this much apparent, I don’t understand this statement from Pereira:
“but they would have been a lot more comfortable if they would have called an illegal formation”
So the league wanted an illegal formation to be called even though the wide receiver cleared his positioning with the refs?! That’s ridiculous.
If anything, Pereira should say the league would have been a lot more comfortable with the ref helping the receiver line up properly.
But whatever. This whole thing is dumb. The Philly Special was a cool play and the success of it had nothing to do with lining up improperly, which didn’t even happen. The Eagles won the Super Bowl fair and square. They simply outplayed New England.
NFL penalties in the playoffs— Brandon LII Gowton (@BrandonGowton) February 5, 2018
Patriots: 6 for 52
Patriots opponents: 22 for 195