The Bengals beat the Browns 27-17 in their season opener Sunday in Cleveland. Cincy blew a 13-0 lead and trailed 17-13 in the fourth quarter before Bruce Gradkowski hit rookie A.J. Green for the go-ahead score (video here). It was Green’s first and only catch of the game, and it only happened because the Bengals caught the Browns off-guard. Actually, they quick-snapped Cleveland on the play, something Browns head coach Pat Shurmur believes is illegal.
“They quick-snapped us,” Shurmur said after the game. “I’ll have to watch the tape, but it’s my understanding they changed personnel, lined up and then quick-snapped. There’s rules that go along with that, so we’ll see. My understanding is when the offense changes personnel, the defense is allowed to do so as well and have time to do it.”
Shurmur is correct. Rule 5, Section 2, Article 10 of the rule book (cited by the Cleveland Plain Dealer) regarding Defensive Matchups Following Substitutions says: