Looks like the most memorable play of Super Bowl 52—the one Nick Foles called “Philly, Philly” should have been ruled nilly, nilly.
This according to NFL rules expert Mike Pereira slash TV analyst for FOX who said in an interview that they were lined up illegally on the “Philly Special” trick play that resulted in a touchdown pass to Foles.
On the play, Eagles receiver Alshon Jeffery was seen lined up about two yards behind the line of scrimmage. NFL rules require offenses to have seven players on the line of scrimmage for all plays, and Jeffery was considered one of their seven.
“I know the league came out and said that it’s a judgment call, which it is,” Pereira said. “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 Jeffery] was close enough. Well, he wasn’t. They lined up wrong."
“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.”
Jeffery likely received clearance from the official nearby him and signaled with him to indicate he was on the line of scrimmage for the play, which is probably why no penalty was called. And since Foles was lined up in the backfield, the Patriots would have known he was an eligible receiver. Where Jeffery lined up didn’t seem to materially affect the play, though this controversy is something Pats fans can complain about.
But they won’t—because even Patriots fans had to appreciate what every other NFL fan did about the Super Bowl this year, the officials let them play football and kept the flags in their pockets.
Hey...it's only cheating if you get caught, right?