On second thought, maybe the Philly Special shouldn’t have counted.
After Nick Foles caught a touchdown on fourth down in Super Bowl LII, PFT asked the NFL for clarification about whether the Eagles were lined up in an illegal formation. A league source said the NFL views it as a “judgment call.”
But FOX rules analyst Mike Pereira, the league’s former head of officiating, said the officiating crew, including down judge Jerry Bergman, got it wrong.
“I know the league came out and said that it’s a judgment call, which it is,” Pereira said, via Clark Judge of the Talk of Fame Network. “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 [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 [yards], 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.”
A penalty would have backed up the Eagles to the New England 6, with Doug Pederson facing a tougher fourth-down decision from there. But as Eagles fans are sure to say, it’s history now.
Over a week has passed since the Patriots lost Super Bowl LII, but that doesn't mean people have stopped talking about the game. That was a really lame opener to this story because no shit, that's how the Super Bowl works, but just go with it.
IMO the biggest story line from the game was and always will be the mysterious benching of Super Bowl legend Malcolm Butler, we still don't know all the details, and probably never will. I'll never understand how he didn't get a chance to play when the secondary was getting scorched like the California countryside, but this is not what my blog is about. No, no, no friends, it's about the Philly Special; the Eagles 4th down touchdown call at the end of the first half that will be remembered from this game as its signature play for the rest of history. Pretty sure I didn't use that ; correctly but unfortunately there's no way to know for sure.
It now appears that play technically should not have counted. Well, that news really came out while the game was still in play, but now the story has really picked up some steam.
When the game was still in play former Patriot linebacker, and three time Super Bowl champion Matt Chatham pointed out on twitter that the Eagles ran the play from an illegal formation.
Rather than delete it and lose those precious retweets and favorites (I still call them favorites, not likes) Chatham later noted that he meant TD not TS which I felt important because it could've very easily have been confused with the stock symbol for Tenaris, or the porn abbreviation for transsexual. I felt it was important also include that tweet in this blog so you too would know he meant touchdown in this instance.
I mean it's pretty obvious if you know anything about football that illegal formation has to be called. My Grandmother who doesn't even watch football could clearly tell that was illegal formation. I'm sure she would've been screaming at the television "HE'S TOO FAR OFF THE LINE OF SCRIMMAGE! THROW THE FLAG YOU RAT BASTARD!" had she been watching the game instead of the Hallmark Network. Oh well.
It was clear as day. As obvious as a slap in the face. I knew it, you knew it, everybody knew it. But it doesn't change anything, the Eagles won and Pats lost. Just another Oscar Martinez actually moment for Pats fans to have another little tidbit in excuse making for losing to Philly trash who was playing with a back-up QB.
Instead that Philly trash gets the Lombardi and t-shirt glory.
Suuuuuuuuuuuure, had this play been called back as it should've been by competent officials who weren't mesmerized by this snazzy trick-play, then the Eagles would've most certainly opted to kick a field goal. Assuming they make it, which was no guarantee given the special teams miscues by both teams that would've given them a 6 point lead as opposed to a two score 10 point lead which was all the difference in the game as the Patriots allowed points on all but two Philadelphia drives during the contest. That would've certainly changed the complexion of the second half, but sometimes that's how the cookie crumbles.
I just personally would've rather not known about this news, because even though I know it had no outcome on the plays success, rules are rules, it was an illegal formation. Had it been called correctly it would've changed everything, but it's too late, can't do anything now. It just makes the loss hurt even more. There's nothing you can do now except complain, which I will gladly do. Finding out that the play shouldn't have counted after the fact is like finding out 20 years later that the girl you had a crush on in high school that you never had the balls to ask out because you were a scared little 16 year old also had a crush on you. Now you're almost 40 and married to the wrong woman thinking "what if?" It just makes you feel even worse thinking what could've been...
While yes, technically it was an illegal formation and should've been a five yard penalty it doesn't change anything. The Eagles won and the Pats lost. Simple as that. Even though the Patriots defense essentially made it seem like the Eagles were playing against air, they still had a chance to win this game thanks to Tom Brady, who shredded one of the best defenses in the NFL for an Super Bowl record 613 yards of offense, 505 which came directly from his right arm.
It sucks because talking about this makes you sound like a sore loser, and be even more hated as a Patriot fan (although let's be honest nothing is going to change that). You can call Patriots fans sore losers in this situation, but there are plenty of reasons to be upset about this game. There were two questionable touchdown calls for the Eagles, the whole Malcolm Butler fiasco, and now the news that the Philly Special shouldn't have counted. Yes I know the Patriots have been the most successful organization of the new Millennium, they have soooo many Super Bowls that there have been multiple "where do we put our new banner?" problems. But given Brady's age and the uncertainty surrounding this franchise going forward, it makes this loss sting even more. I would've much rather have gone on living in a world where the Philly Special was just the Philly Special, and not the illegal formation trick-play that changed the course of Super Bowl, and NFL history. But whatever.