Patriots Dig Deep Into NFL Rulebook For Formation ‘Deception’ Vs. Ravens


Jan 11, 2015

Tom Brady had a simple message Saturday for John Harbaugh and the Baltimore Ravens after the Baltimore head coach complained of “deception”: Read the rulebook.

In the NFL, however, that’s easier said than done. The league’s rules are a tangled web of football-ese, and the Patriots took advantage of that with their four-linemen formation on the way to beating the Ravens in a divisional-round matchup Saturday night.

Ex-NFL linebacker Matt Chatham wrote Sunday on that the controversy not only takes away from what was a fantastic football game, but it’s also the latest sign that the complicated set of rules needs change.

“The crime here is that loopholes exist in a rulebook that needs a massive editing overhaul,” Chatham¬†wrote. “If you didn’t have these bizarre eligibility rules, you wouldn’t have the confusing plays that come off them, where the defense doesn’t know what’s going on, the viewers at home and in the stadium have no clue, and we’re all left to some rules expert to flip to page 127 or whatever and tell us WTF is happening.¬† That’s a terrible version of the game of football, and the people who’ve let the rulebook come into such disrepair are fools that have damaged the game.”

Click here for Chatham’s entire breakdown >>

Thumbnail photo via Mark L. Baer/USA TODAY Sports

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