Patriots Defender Calls For NFL Rule Change During Super Bowl

Should the Eagles' assisted QB sneaks be outlawed?


Feb 12, 2023

Teammate-assisted quarterback sneaks have been the Philadelphia Eagles’ not-so-secret weapon this season.

One New England Patriots linebacker seemingly wants to see those outlawed in 2023.

After a pair of Eagles players pushed Jalen Hurts to yet another short-yardage first down during the first half of Super Bowl LVII, Ja’Whaun Bentley called for the NFL to amend its rulebook.

“We need to Change the QB sneak Rules,” Bentley tweeted Sunday night as the Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs squared off at State Farm Stadium.

Nicknamed the “Two-Cheek Sneak” and “Double Cheek Push,” the Eagles’ strategy of having Hurts — arguably the NFL’s most powerful rushing QB — burrow into the middle of the line while multiple teammates push him from behind has been borderline unstoppable.

According to a January story by The Athletic’s Kalyn Kahler, Philadelphia ran more QB sneaks than any NFL team since at least 2000 during the regular season (32) and gained a first down or touchdown on 90.6% of those. When Hurts was the one doing the sneaking, the success rate was 93.3%.

“It’s not a sneak anymore,” Eagles center Jason Kelce told The Athletic. “There’s nothing sneaky about it. Both teams know what’s coming.”

Hurts converted another assisted sneak late in the second quarter Sunday night, setting up a Jake Elliott field goal that gave Philadelphia a 24-14 halftime lead.

There’s nothing illegal about the Eagles’ method — since 2006, players have been allowed to push ball-carrying teammates forward — but Bentley surely isn’t the only defender who views it as an unfair advantage for the offense.

Time will tell whether Philadelphia’s sneak success will spark any NFL rule changes.

Thumbnail photo via Patrick Breen/The Republic via USA TODAY Sports Images
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