Eagles talk: NFL rules expert calls ‘Philly Special’ illegal formation

Nick Foles; Mandatory Credit Imagn Images photo pool
Nick Foles; Mandatory Credit Imagn Images photo pool /

The haters keep on hating following the Philadelphia Eagles first Super Bowl win in team history.

First, there were the Mike Lombardi comments, and now we have to deal with this. For whatever reason, it appears that a lot of these NFL ‘experts’ will never be confused for Philadelphia Eagles fans. One minute, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson is the most unqualified head coach in the league. Now, with the Lombardi Trophy firmly in its’ rightful place at the Novacare Complex, one of the most signature plays in Super Bowl history is now being called into question.

According to FOX rules analyst Mike Pereira, who’s also the former NFL vice president of officiating, the Eagles were lined up illegally prior to the snap of the ball. If that would have been ruled the case, the ‘Philly Special’ shouldn’t haven’t counted. According to NFL rules, seven offensive players have to line up on the line of scrimmage. Pereira believes Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery wasn’t close enough to the line of scrimmage.

Here’s a tweet showing the play in question. What do you think?

MIke Pereira had this to say.

"I know the league came out and said that it’s a judgment call, which it is. The down judge, who was the one that was on his side of the field, (the other officials) felt that it was his judgment, and (Alshon Jeffery) was close enough. Well, he wasn’t. They lined up wrong."

Here’s a couple of things to keep in mind and an argument for the ‘Philly Special’.

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Two things have to be mentioned here. Number one, Zack Cox and Matt Chatham both work for NESN. That’s the New England Sports Network. They’re New England Patriots fans who also happen to be outstanding writers who are assigned to covering the team.

More importantly than that, there’s something else that’s worthy of mentioning. When Alshon Jeffery broke the huddle he jogged over to the right side of the formation and immediately checked, as all receivers do, with the line judge to make sure that he was in the appropriate position. The line judge gave him the nod. The ball was snapped, and the ‘Philly Special’ will live on forever, as it should.

If you’re upset because Jeffery might have been six inches off of the line of scrimmage, something that had absolutely nothing to do with the outcome of the play, that’s a ‘you’ problem. You’re probably also a Patriots fan.

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By the way, no one has any sympathy for a Patriots team whose dynasty was born out of a bad call and have seen their fair share of one-sided calls over the years.