Should Eagles have been flagged for illegal formation on Foles' TD catch?
A league source tells PFT that if was up to the official to determine if the Eagles violated a rule on the play
In a Super Bowl that saw Eagles came late in the second quarter. With 38 seconds to go in the first half, and the Eagles leading 15-12 and facing a 4th and goal from the Patriots' 2-yard line, coach Doug Pederson didn't turtle up. Instead of settling for an easy field goal, he called this:, perhaps the one play that proved to be the most important for the
First, that takes guts. Second, Pederson dialed up that play minutes after Tom Brady flubbed his chance at big reception:
But here's the thing, should the Eagles have been flagged for illegal formation on Foles' touchdown grab? Because former Patriots player Matt Chatham tweeted this shortly afterwards:
Given that the Eagles won by eight points, that would be a huge missed call.
The question is whether the wide receiver was on the line of scrimmage, in which case the formation was legal, or behind the line of scrimmage, in which case the Eagles only had six players on the line and were in an illegal formation. The official thought the wide receiver was lined up close enough on the line to be covering the right tackle, and as a result the league doesn't believe the Eagles got the benefit of a bad call.
Credit to the officials for not making the Super Bowl a referendum on controversial calls. Foles' touchdown grab is one example, and there were at least two others: Corey Clement's 3rd quarter touchdown catch, and Zach Ertz's game-winning touchdown catch with just over two minutes to go.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is widely criticized, and sometimes deservedly so, but he was exactly right. Super Bowl LII was a glimpse into a game that was about the two teams and not arcane rules that are almost impossible to enforce.
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