"The rule got in trouble because they differentiated between a receiver who is upright and on his feet and a receiver who is going to the ground".
"Not only that, it's a trick play".
Now, one of the NFL's most prominent officiating experts agrees that the play should've been flagged for illegal formation. "And if you're going to run a trick-type play, then you have to be lined up properly", Pereira said.
Seven players must be on the line of scrimmage, but it is left to the officials' judgment to determine if a player is on the line. "And it really should've been called". Jeffery certainly was not "two" or "even a little bit beyond two" yards from the line of scrimmage. 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.
Generally, when the Patriots are accused of doing something illegal it becomes a massive national story that doesn't die with calls of win and to have their title stripped from them. Unless you've been living under a rock, you probably know of the play by now, which resulted in quarterback Nick Foles catching a touchdown pass from tight end Trey Burton near the end of the first half of the big game. Jeffery needed to be on the line, but could've gotten away with a yard or so. The Patriots would have had about five fewer seconds with the ball on their final possession of the half. But they did make a pair of glaring mistakes that allowed two Eagles touchdowns to stand.
If Philly had been hit with a five-yard penalty on the play, it would've been fourth-and-goal from the six-yard-line, and in that situation, the Eagles nearly certainly would have kicked a field goal. So you look at the play, assuming the call on the field was right, and it should surprise no one when you reverse it to make the call that was basically wrong ... and right that wrong.
"Philly Special" was an ingenious play call, but former National Football League director of officiating Mike Pereira believes Nick Foles' touchdown catch on the play in Super Bowl 52 should have been called back for an illegal formation.
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