By Mary Cunningham
Nine days after the Eagles’ amazing Super Bowl victory, there is a discouraging word.
From Fox Sports.
And a former zebra, no less!
After Nick Foles caught a touchdown on fourth down, Fox rules analyst Mike Pereira, the league’s former head of officiating, said the officiating crew, including down judge Jerry Bergman, got it wrong because the Eagles were lined up illegally:
“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 Jeffrey] 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.”
A penalty would have backed up the Eagles to the New England 6, with Doug Pederson facing a tougher fourth-down decision from there.