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Saturday, December 14, 2019

Articles tagged: Super Bowl 52

Mike Pereira: Eagles were in illegal formation on trick play

Eagles Touchdown philly special trick play formation

One of the controversies to arise from the Super Bowl had to do with whether or not the Philadelphia Eagles were lined up in illegal formation on the “Philly Special” trick play that resulted in a touchdown pass to Nick Foles. And one former official thinks they were in illegal formation.

NFL rules expert Mike Pereira, who serves as a TV analyst for FOX, said in an interview with Talk of Fame Network that the Eagles were lined up illegally.

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, via Clark Judge of the Talk of Fame Network. “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.

“Not only that, it’s a trick play. And if you’re going to run a trick-type play, then you have to be lined up properly. You could either have six men on the line, or you could have an ineligible number lined up at the end of the line, which was the case. I know what the league has said, but they would have been a lot more comfortable if they would have called an illegal formation.

“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.

None of this takes away how cool of a play it was and that Foles’ high school runs the exact same play.

H/T Pro Football Talk

Eagles player says team ran fake walkthrough to throw off Patriots

Doug Pederson Eagles

One Philadelphia Eagles player says the team ran a fake walkthrough in Minneapolis to throw off the New England Patriots in case they tried any of their alleged spying shenanigans.

Eagles long-snapper Rick Lovato appeared on WDAE in Tampa on Wednesday and talked about the walkthrough.

“I believe our whole walk-through was just a complete fake walk-through,” Lovato told “The Ron and JP Show“. “We did it at the stadium. There were certain people walking around. . . . I believe I overheard someone say a lot of the plays we were running weren’t even in the playbook for the Super Bowl.”

Lovato says the team didn’t use the walkthrough to run actual plays because they had already had their gameplan set.

“We already had our game plan set all week for the last two weeks,” Lovato said. “We had two weeks to prepare for that game. A measly walk-through the day before the game, we weren’t going to show anything to anyone, especially being at the stadium.”

Whatever the Eagles did certainly worked, so you can’t fault their approach.

You may recall that back in 2008, the Boston Herald published a report accusing the Patriots of filming the Rams’ walkthrough the day before the Super Bowl in 2002. The writer later retracted his report and apologized, but that hasn’t stopped Rams players from continuing to bring up the allegations.

Spygate-like accusations aside, the strategy from the Eagles was smart. Why risk anything in a setting like that?

Kevin Hart explains why he tried to crash Eagles’ trophy presentation

Kevin Hart stage

Kevin Hart is offering an explanation for his hijinks after the Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl on Sunday night.

The actor-comedian and Philly native took to Instagram on Monday to discuss the incident where he was hilariously turned away by security as he tried to make his way onto the stage for the Vince Lombardi Trophy presentation.

“To all the kids out there, I just wanna say, ‘Don’t drink.'” Hart said in the video post. “You know, when alcohol is in your system, you do dumb stuff. Me trying to go onstage with the trophy [is] definitely in the top-two stupidest things I’ve ever done. But who cares? The Eagles won the Super Bowl. Yeah I’m still a little tipsy, but the world can kiss my a–.

“My wife was the first one to say, ‘Babe, don’t go up there,'” he added. “I told my wife, ‘No honey, chill out. I gotta be up there with my city.'”

Indeed, Hart attempting to crash the stage only be to stonewalled by a much larger security guard definitely made for quite a scene in the postgame chaos.

After being denied entry to the stage, the “Ride Along” star then went on the air with NFL Network, admitted he was drunk, and then got kicked off for dropping a curse word.

Josh McDaniels admits Brandin Cooks injury hurt Patriots

Brandin Cooks hit

The New England Patriots had their way offensively against the Philadelphia Eagles in the second half, but that didn’t mean a major injury didn’t have an impact on how the game played out.

The Patriots lost wide receiver Brandin Cooks to a head injury early in the second quarter of their eventual loss, and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels admitted that the injury did hurt New England.

“Obviously it made an impact, somewhat,” McDaniels said, via Nick Shook of NFL.com. “I thought Phillip [Dorsett] and Chris [Hogan] really stepped up and really made a lot of big plays.

“Look, that’s what a football team does, you have to go through that every single week. You’ve got adversities whether you come into the game with injuries or you incur one in the middle of the game. Our guys are practiced and prepared and ready to do that, and I thought they did a good job. I’m more upset for [Brandin Cooks]. He has an opportunity to play in his first Super Bowl and then to get it cut short there that was disappointing for him individually.”

Cooks took a pretty nasty hit to knock him out of the game. Tom Brady certainly made do without him, but it still deprived New England of their big deep threat for nearly three full quarters.

Patriots players ‘not aware’ of why Malcolm Butler was benched

Malcolm Butler

Bill Belichick said Malcolm Butler was benched for Super Bowl LII on Sunday as a coach’s decision, and it sounds like the players in the Patriots locker room got the same explanation for the shocking move as the rest of us.

On Monday, one Patriots defensive player told ESPN’s Josina Anderson that he was unaware of why Butler did not play a single snap on defense.

In a conference call with reporters, Belichick was asked several questions about his decision to bench Butler. He used the old cliche of doing what’s best for his football team, but he also hinted that it was an issue that Butler missed practice time while he was battling flu-like symptoms.

Butler did not fly with the team to Minneapolis, and he said the Patriots ended up sending a private plane to pick him up because he was dealing with an illness. It’s possible that Belichick felt he missed valuable practice time and would not be prepared to face the Eagles, but if that was the case you’d think Butler would have come in at some point when the Patriots were getting torched.

The comments Butler made about the situation following the game indicate he feels he was prepared to play. If he was benched for disciplinary reasons, he probably wouldn’t have ripped the team the way he did. We may never get a complete answer from Belichick about one of the biggest head-scratchers in Super Bowl history.

Robert Kraft apologized to Patriots fans after Super Bowl loss

Robert Kraft

New England Patriots fans attending the team’s Super Bowl afterparty in Minneapolis got a personal mea culpa from owner Robert Kraft.

Kraft appeared onstage to apologize to everyone in attendance after New England couldn’t hold on to a fourth quarter lead and lost 41-33 to the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII.

“I’m really sorry we didn’t close it out tonight,” Kraft told the audience, via TMZ Sports. “We’re sorry we disappointed you. We feel bad.”

Kraft did pledge to ensure that the team was competing for the big prize again next year — which they should be so long as Tom Brady is under center, as he has said he will be.

It definitely wasn’t the party that everyone involved would have hoped, but it still featured performances from Jennifer Lopez, Gucci Mane and Florida Georgia Line. There are probably worse ways to commiserate after a Super Bowl loss.

Alshon Jeffery boasts after delivering on Super Bowl guarantee

Alshon Jeffery

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery has been guaranteeing a Super Bowl for a year now in some sense of the word, and he was happy to bring up that prediction after he was proven right on Sunday.

Jeffery guaranteed during the week that the Eagles would beat the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII, and he turned out to be right. He also wasn’t shy about reminding everyone about it after the victory.

“Man, I told y’all,” Jeffery said, via Josh Alper of ProFootballTalk. “Hey, we don’t care who we were playing. Facing this opponent, I knew Tom Brady — I respect him, a great player, probably one of the greatest ever, but hey, he had not played the Eagles yet. He [had played] the Eagles, not the 2017-18 Eagles.”

It’s worth noting that Jeffery predicted something similar a year ago, though he had to use a bit of a technicality to ensure that it remained true. He’s earned the right to the last laugh, though — he certainly did his part, catching a touchdown pass in the win.