Should Eagles Have Been Flagged For Illegal Formation On Trick-Play TD?

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The New England Patriots’ defense was absolutely lost on the Philadelphia Eagles’ trick-play touchdown late in the first half of Super Bowl LII, and maybe the referees were too.

The Eagles went for broke on a 4th-and-goal with 38 seconds remaining in the second quarter, dialing up a clever play that saw Nick Foles go from taking the shotgun snap to catching a touchdown pass. And while the play was perfectly executed, it probably shouldn’t have counted.

Oops.

The officials kept the flags in their pockets on the play, which allowed the Eagles to take a 22-12 lead into halftime.

UPDATE (11:15 a.m. ET, Monday, Feb. 5): We have some clarity on this play. Well, kind of.

While Philly only had six players on the line, the line judge may have deemed that wide receiver Alshon Jeffery was on the line prior to the snap. Video of the play appears to show Jeffery (at the top of the screen) checking with the official before lining up.

Whether Jeffery actually was on or off the line is a judgment call by the official, Pro Football Talk reported late Sunday night, citing a league source.

Basically, Jeffery very well could have been off the line (and it appears he is), but the ref signed off on his alignment, making the Eagles’ formation legal by that official’s standards.

Click for a Super Bowl LII recap >>

Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports

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