Rules analyst says Philadelphia Eagles’ signature ‘Philly Special’ in Super Bowl was illegal formation
Philadelphia Eagles win Super Bowl 52
Gallery: Philadelphia Eagles win Super Bowl 52
It also appears to be something that will be re-litigated for a long, long time. That’s because former NFL vice president of officiating and FOX rules analyst Mike Pereira said the Eagles were lined up in an illegal formation and the play shouldn’t have counted.
“I know the league came out and said that it’s a judgment call, which it is,” Pereira told Clark Judge of Talk of Fame. “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 Jeffery) was close enough. Well, he wasn’t. They lined up wrong.”
According to Pereira — and something that was pointed out by NESN shortly after the play — Jeffery, who was lined up at the top of the play, wasn’t on the line of scrimmage, which meant the Eagles had only six players on the line instead of the mandatory seven.
My NESN colleague @chatham58 pointed out that the Eagles only had six players on the line on Foles’ TD catch. He’s right. pic.twitter.com/TRfB2teuMJ
— Zack Cox (@ZackCoxNESN) February 5, 2018
ProFootballTalk reached out to the NFL for comment after the Eagles’ 41-33 victory, and a “league source” said it was a “judgment call.” The official judged Jeffery was close enough to the line of scrimmage.
“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.”
Nothing is easy in the NFL when it comes to officiating. Pereira also discussed running back Corey Clement’s touchdown catch, which was upheld after review.
In the eyes of Patriots fans, the Eagles might have gotten the benefit of some missed calls. In the eyes of Eagles fans, the Birds might have finally gotten some breaks to go their way. Either way, NFL officiating can be picked apart until there’s nothing left.
This 10-year-old Eagles fan’s enthusiasm would make Jason Kelce proud