Brady to Ravens: “Study the rule book”

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Saturday night’s win by the Patriots over the Ravens included an offensive innovation that got under the skin of Ravens coach John Harbaugh. To say the least.

The Patriots used four offensive linemen and made one of the otherwise eligible receivers ineligible, with the apparent goal of confusing the Ravens regarding who would be running a pass route, and who would be staying in to block.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was asked about the controversy by reporters after the win.

“I don’t know,” Brady said. “Who knows? Maybe those guys gotta study the rule book and figure it out. We obviously knew what we were doing and we made some pretty important plays. It was a real good weapon for us. Maybe we’ll have something in store next week.”

But what about Harbaugh’s claim that it was deceptive, and that the league would look at it?

“They’ll look at it then,” Brady said. “I don’t know what’s deceiving about that. [They] should figure it out.”

Right or wrong, legal or illegal, deceptive or in plain sight, it worked. And that’s all that matters at this point. The Patriots found a way to move their postseason home record against the Ravens to 2-2, as the Patriots continue to achieve far more than anyone thought they would when they started the 2014 season at 2-2.

139 responses to “Brady to Ravens: “Study the rule book”

  1. Brady/Bellichick= Genius.

    No one in the league figures out a way to do more with less.

    A decade of success. Other teams dream of being in a position to win a super bowl every year. Patriots may not win the SB but they keep their fans hoping far longer into every NFL season then 90% of the league.

  2. It’s up to the defense and the coaches to determine who is eligible after a player reports as ineligible – it’s not the ref’s job to figure it out for them. If you’re confused call a time out.

    By the way Mr. Harbaugh, Alabama used that against LSU in overtime.

  3. Typically when someone is eligible when lined up in an unusual spot, the refs announce “So-and-so reports as eligibile”. That was the only part that I thought seemed odd, but it was the TE Hooman who benefitted from that play. You’d think someone would be covering a TE.

  4. Patriots being Patriots and Ravens being Ravens. In the end, it’s a familiar story. When the Pats prevail in this matchup, the Ravens always have some complaint. But people get tired of frivolous cheating accusations. They found something in the rulebook they could clearly use, and they used it. If the league ultimately decides this is an unintented loophole and wish to close it, they’ll do so and the plays won’t be run again (without penalty). But apparently this sort of thing has been used on punt formations and other special teams plays, and the Pats found a way to adapt it to the offense to create mismatches.

  5. Can Harbaugh ever lose gracefully? Every time he loses to the Patriots, he whines. When the Patriots lose, Belichick gives credit to the other team. The Ravens and their fans have now passed the Steelers as the whiniest, most obnoxious fans in football.

  6. Can’t stand the Boston fan base, but fans of football have to respect what Brady and Bill have meant to the legacy of the game. Who could forget the Fluite drop kick? They seem to find the quirks in the rulebook and confuse the other squad in their benefit. It’s all part of the game.

  7. The NFL should outlaw all tackle-eligible plays, all mis-direction plays and all play action passing plays! After all, they’re all designed to confuse the defense. In fact, receivers should be made to only run in a staright line, and runners shouldn’t be allowed to cut back!!

  8. Harbaugh’s can’t lose without whining. Even Webb on the Raven’s D said it was a smart move. The refs did their job and announced who was ineligible. If Harbaugh was confused, take a time out. Don’t start throwing around words like deceptive when you don’t understand the formations or rules.

  9. The Ratbirds got beat fair and square. What a whiner Harbaugh is. Blows TWO 14-point leads and still opens his mouth and points fingers. Would he have complained had they won?

  10. On one of the plays the Ref even went beyond just announcing that one of the players was lined up as an ineligle receiver by going as far as teliing the Ravens they didn’t have to cover him. I kid you not…it was when Vereen was the ineligible…the Ref yelled out and pointed “#34 is ineligible, Do not cover #34.”

    Regardless, phenomenal game. Ravens gave the Pats all they could handle and the Pats just kept fighting their way back into it. Hard to ask for a more exciting game. In the end it came down to what a game between two well matched teams does, mistakes. That last pick from Flacco was the difference maker when it had looked for a while like Brady’s pick and inability to doing anything with the possession after Flacco’s first pick would have been the difference.

    Kudos to both teams in this one. You don’t see many games like this one.

  11. The Good Guys won.
    Harbaughs really are whiners, great game though.
    The only version of Rob Lowe that I would find amusing is the ‘non-breathing’ Rob Lowe.
    Happy Sunday, Chippy! Time to re-laminate your Tom Brady poster!
    I haven’t pulled for the Colts in a while. It would be fun to get hammered and watch the game with Irsay.

  12. Ravens cry about everything… Harbaugh is becoming a huge baby, you lost not 1 but 2 14 point leads so suck it up and admit that your big mouth ugliest man Alive Suggs and other defensive players cost you the game… Not 1 play where Vereen reported ineligible lol

  13. You tell em Brady. Harbaugh’s just sore because he got outsmarted by the Evil Genius. Harbaugh got punked by Bill Belichick. It doesn’t get any better than that.

  14. Brady and Belichick may be technically right, but this kind of thing is just against the spirit of the game. Just like putting Vaseline on jerseys or video taping opposing signals from the sidelines, this shows how low Belichick will go to win. It’s the end-justifies-the means attitude that’s ruining the game.

    More evidence that the name “Belicheat” is well deserved.

  15. Responding like the sore losers they are. So was the Edelman pass that led to a TD deceptive? Was the pass to Lafell deceptive? Face it your team couldn’t beat us after having two 14 point defecits.

  16. I hate the Patriots with passion. It’s hard not to when you are from the NY Metro area. It’s hard not to hate any Boston area team in any sport. That said … Damn, they were good yesterday and look very strong. But that defensive weakness both teams displayed yesterday is likely to get in the way of a SB ring.

  17. Brady’s right. It was within the rules. I think Baltimore is just a little mad they got out foxed.

  18. In the post game presser, Brady is visibly trying to keep himself from laughing when answering. It is pretty funny.

  19. Seriously. This isn’t that complicated. You count the men on the line of scrimmage and identify who is eligible. This speaks volumes about the ineptness of Baltimore’s defense and coaching staff more than anything else.

    This isn’t trickery or deception. This is used in youth football and every other level of football.

  20. Crybaby Harbaugh will have all offseason to study the rule book. Also, while Harbaugh is studying, JumpBallJoe maybe can practice real passing plays rather than working with his receivers to draw DPI penalties on his cheap Hail Mary’s. Come back to the Pats when you guys learn to play straight up. Glad the Pats showed you guys something new!

  21. If the Ravens were alert, they could have used it to THEIR advantage.

    If a tight end or a running back is identified by the refs as reporting ineligible (playing offensive TACKLE), then as a pass rusher you BLOW THE GUY UP and put him on his backside, as you get in the backfield.

    But no… the brain-dead Ravens did not know what to do.

  22. While Belicheat has proven that he cannot win the big one without cheating, this was just smart, heads up football. Nothing illegal about it at all and the Ravens need to stop a acting like Lions fans and get over it.

  23. There’s no question as to whether it was legal. It was. The problem Harbaugh had was apparently that the refs didn’t make clear who was ineligible and give them time to adjust the defense.

    Blame the refs, not the Pats.

    Legal.

  24. Yes Tommy! U need explain NOTHING! We all know 2 things.
    1.) Bill “The Guru” Belichick is playing chess!
    2.) raven players,coaches and fans ALWAYS crying after a loss.

  25. First, Harbs should remember he used rules to his advantage in the Super Bowl when he told his players to hold on the punt from the end zone, knowing it would only result in a safety which was the outcome he wanted. That was smart. It was also a very rare situation. Notice the League did not change the rules.

    Brady’s play might have been technically legal, but even that is doubtful as the refs agreed with Harbs once he explained to them what was happening. It’s different than the Ravens’ play because it was an ongoing strategy, not a one-time play, and it’s clear the Pats were gaming the system. If the League modifies the rules to prevent what they did, then you know it will have concluded the Pats were trying to circumvent the intent of the rules. Probably did not change the outcome, but it was obviously intentionally deceptive and Brady is coming across as the sneaky little kid who is trying to pull a fast one.

  26. You’d think the better team would be able to just win without any trickery. The Pats are the better team, and they won the game, but I came away from that game far less impressed by them. The halftime adjustment seemed to be, We are getting beaten, so how can we trick them? That bush league stuff won’t win the Super Bowl. Having zero run game won’t either.

  27. Now we can add this game to the long list of Patriots BS. This is the kind of thing you expect to see in local rec flag football leagues each weekend, not in the NFL. I guarantee a rule change will occur this off season.

    The list grows:
    tuck rule in 2001, taping rams SB practice in 2001,Brady head-bobbing every game of 2002, spy gate super bowls of 2003 and 2004, spy gate exposed in 2007, phantom PI vs Ravens in 200. To ensure perfect regular season, Illegal to hit QBs low due to Brady injury in 2008, Lee Evans supposed non-catch in 2011, clock BS vs BALT in 2011, and now illegal subbing in 2014.

    Also, I would say their home record is 1-3, since Lee Evans had the TD catch long enough in 2011. Of course, the only way they won was by coming back three times! Pays to be lucky.

  28. It should be handled the same way an offensive substitution is handled during hurry up. You can’t have a team break the huddle and only when a player is lining up he declares himself ineligible. The procedural handling of the play by the officials is the problem.

  29. If one thing has been consistent since the Pats got busted in 2007, even if they do go to the SB, they will lose and end up with a horrible 1st round draft pick again. Karma

  30. Diehard 30+ year Dolphins fan here and I HATE the Patriots, but you know what, I respect Belicheck. He always finds a way to win with the tools he has. Life must be good being a Patriots fan, that’s all I can say.

  31. Congrats Ravens,
    Forced the best team to resort to playground plays to win. They had to pull out all of their cheap tricks to avoid being beaten by Baltimore the third time in the playoffs in 4 tries. Can’t wait for the next postseason meeting.

  32. so what Harbaugh and the Raven whiners are saying is something legal is illegal when its done by the Pats. Got it

  33. the Ref yelled out and pointed “#34 is ineligible, Do not cover #34.”
    ————————————————–
    Yes, while he was running backwards so he can get out of the play. My understanding is that they are supposed to declare themselves to the head official ONCE they get on the field. Not when on the line of scrimmage. And when they do declare, it is usually announced by the ref.

  34. Correct me if I’m wrong. But isn’t confusing the defense the object of the game

  35. Ravens love double standards. Or does no one remember how they massaged the rule book to close out the Super Bowl a few years back with those intentional holds to kill clock before an intentional safety.

  36. All I have to say is thank god Suggs has a nice juicy excuse to suckle on for the next year. The team that really thinks their 2-2 record against Belichick in the playoffs is indicative of a massive conspiracy against them needs all the comfort they can get.

  37. Love the tired haters and their cheating comments. Get over it. The Ravens got every call in this game and still couldn’t win. How about the clear roughing the passer call they missed when Brady was picked up and driven into the ground? Holding and interference on Gronk on the same play. That first PI on Revis, border line at best. How about you look at your team Harb and how they gave up a 15 point lead… twice. Tired excuses…

  38. It was a down year for us, 19 guys on IR and the pats still had to pull out all the tricks to beat us in foxboro. Harbaugh wasn’t complaining. He was asked about his penalty and he answered. He said that the pats deserved the win and the do. But c’mon everyone. Tom Brady is the biggest cry baby wimp I’ve ever seen.

  39. Gotta love the steeler trolls today, it’s almost as if they didn’t lose to the Ravens, force thier defensive coordinator out because he couldn’t get along with Tomlin, and revel in the fact that they have a higher draft pick (even though the last time they decided to pass on rookie of the year Mosley for shazier).

    Yep it’s all sunshine in western pa because another team did what they couldn’t.

  40. On to another championship!!! The patriots are turning into the bills of the 90s. They make it all the way and lose… Twice to the Giants! Brady is a whiner! He can say he’s just competitive. The rest of the world knows he’s a whiner

  41. Chris Mortensen confirmed this morning on Post Season NFL Countdown that the NFL has stated that everything regarding these plays was completely legal!

    Vareen (#34) reported as ineligible and Homan (#47) does not have to report as eligible because he is a tight end playing at the LT position. Players with the number 50-79 are automatically considers ineligible players. That is why Vareen had to report as inelgibile. Since Homan is not in that window he doesn’t have to report as eligible because he has a TE number.

    Harbaugh and the Ravens simply got out smarted and embarrassed that they didn’t know that section of the rule book. Instead of admitting that he assumed he was right and made even more of a fool of himself.

    End of Story!

  42. They declared over the loudspeaker on all 3 plays that a player was ineligible. I was at the game and then went back to the tape and it’s clear as day. What more can you do? Sour grapes Harbaugh….

  43. chippy…patience grasshopper…in the unlikely event the MIGHTY PATS lose another game this season, i am sure you’ll be all over this board screaming ‘CHEATERS!’, and that will be your superbowl.

    however, a few of us know that shula has cheated to gain advantage. aside from his funny business in taking the helm of the tuna, see 1982 AFCC game against the jets, in which he refused to cover the field and the 1986 game against the eagles, in which he huddled 15 players on the field–pretty F’n blatant cheating by anyone’s standards, too–but not for someone on the rules committee…(no conflict of interest there!).

    …are we going to find you here after the brady/belichik era, or is your hatred confined to just the most AWESOME COACH/QB DUO THAT WILL EVER BE SEEN IN THE NFL?

  44. The pats barely escaped at home to a third place team. Tom Lady whines as much as crybaugh. The patty cakes don’t have what it takes to win it all. They’ll crumble again.

  45. This was nothing more than a dangerous (for the Patriots) version of the tackle eligible formation used nearly every week by someone in the red zone. I’m sure I’m not the only one who was watching (other than the Ravens, apparently) that saw what was going on and thought…this play is going to end poorly for Brady. You never see a (inverted) tackle eligible formation between the 20’s in the NFL because it leaves your QB completely exposed from multiple angles. It was clear to me that the ineligible players reported properly and that the officials signaled such, and the Ravens lined up on defense before the ball was snapped…they just inexplicably lined up on the ineligible player. The formation was either going to make Belichick or Harbaugh look like an idiot…and now we know.

  46. Usually the smart guy beats the dumb guy, and that was proven again here.

    I guess you are proof that there are exceptions to that rule right?

    Great to see the classless ravens outsmarted again and the denial of their fans that the better team won.lol

  47. cueghost says: Jan 7, 2015 8:47 PM

    Well, maybe next year, Bill… Baltimore is coming to town and you KNOW that means your season is over.

    denver1983 says: Jan 8, 2015 2:16 PM

    Cheaters Cheaters Cheaters!!
    Cant wait until Baltiomore stomps the Pats and Brady chokes again!!

    danisstillglorious13 says: Jan 6, 2015 8:39 PM
    Yuk it up. Patsies go down this weekend

    realnflmaster says: Jan 5, 2015 9:13 AM
    Cheats treating a franchise great badly, what a surprise! Classless! Baltimore will put the boots to them this weekend!

    terripet says: Jan 4, 2015 2:35 PM
    Ravens 27 21

    Bubbalicious says: Jan 4, 2015 2:27 AM
    Ravens front d line is going to toss Brady around like an old salad. Pat offense will be stale, D will not get off the field and give up big 3rd down plays to Flaco and run game. Ravens 31 – Pats 13 (mark it) Exit Pats for another year – Division Champs again ready for golf

    handsofsteelhartofstone says: Dec 23, 2014 11:18 AM
    Telling lies is what this jerk does best. You can play this final game any way you want, it won’t matter because new England WILL LOSE THEIR FIRST PLAYOFF GAME THIS YEAR. BANK IT!!!!! THE bye in the playoffs is a curse. And for a team like ne routine is key. Mark my words the bye week bites them this year. I’m thinking Indianapolis rights their ship by then and benefits from the Patriots off week

    ———————————————

    Where are you, Mr. Chips? Gramps, Are you sleeping in this morning?

    Where’s Ravenswhat, and ravenstwerp?

    Congrats to the gracious Ravens fans, your team gave NE all it could handle.

  48. steelcurtainn says: Jan 11, 2015 11:22 AM

    The pats barely escaped at home to a third place team. Tom Lady whines as much as crybaugh. The patty cakes don’t have what it takes to win it all. They’ll crumble again.

    Hey whats that say about your squealers getting punked at home Champ???

    Wicked Smawwt comment… Have fun waiting for the draft….

  49. and what happens when Brady stops playing? you don’t really see anyone on the roster that’ll take over for him do you? that’s because Brady will be done, then Belichick will be done as well, he is not that good he’s nowhere near good enough to win without Brady so coach Bill will be right behind Brady when Tom boy does go, so enjoy it now patsies LOL

  50. 7 men on the line of scrimmage or it’s an illegal formation. The ends on either side of the men on the line of scrimmage are eligible. So is anyone else behind the line of scrimmage. What’s so difficult?

  51. Goodell burned the tape of that game last night, only bootlegs available at this point.

    The Patriots and Bill Belicheat cheating again, nah, couldn’t be. Pathetic franchise coached by a very small man.

  52. Just like putting Vaseline on jerseys or video taping opposing signals from the sidelines

    or throwing rainbows- fishing for pass interference as your main offensive weapon

  53. “justalonewolf says:
    Jan 11, 2015 11:42 AM

    no, they’re just better at cheating than any of the other teams.”

    Let me get this straight. They cheated by doing something that isn’t prohibited by the rulebook?

    What’s next—wahhhh they’re cheating by having good players wahhhh?

    From a logic standpoint, you make less sense than Holocaust deniers.

  54. hakunamangata says:
    Jan 11, 2015 11:08 AM
    Gotta love the steeler trolls today, it’s almost as if they didn’t lose to the Ravens, force thier defensive coordinator out because he couldn’t get along with Tomlin, and revel in the fact that they have a higher draft pick (even though the last time they decided to pass on rookie of the year Mosley for shazier).

    Yep it’s all sunshine in western pa because another team did what they couldn’t.

    3 1
    Report comment. Funny how you make up things about the Steelers to comfort yourself in an embarrassing loss where you had a 14 point lead….not just once but twice! So who is your Bell, Brown, and Bryant draftees there genius? The Ravens can’t draft wide outs to save their life and Steelers can’t draft linebackers…. Glad to see you came out of hiding skippy. Good luck winning the off season boasting championship.

  55. Serious question – does the ref have a responsibility to announce “ineligible” receivers? If not, fine. If so, he didn’t do it.

    Otherwise the play was creative and fine.

    Flacco shouldn’t have thrown an INT on 2nd and 5……why go deep there?? That’s what the Ravens should be crying about.

    Broncos will call timeout in that situation.

  56. Next time Pats play the Ravens, BB should onside kick, fake punt, run the option & wildcat constantly and drop kick extra points just to “deceive” that little crybaby of a coach. Funny thing is, that wicked defensive line Baltimore has couldn’t get pressure on Brady against only 4 offensive linemen.

  57. I do think it’s interesting they had to go pretty deep in the playbook twice to beat a team that backed into the playoffs on a SD loss.

    All may not be so rosy in NE land……didn’t look like the team favored by 7 in that game in my opinion.

  58. “what happens when Brady stops playing? you don’t really see anyone on the roster that’ll take over for him do you?”

    Yes I do actually. Garrapolo has looked very good in his limited playing time and may well be the best QB that was in last year’s draft.

    And funny that you’re all assuming Belichick won’t draft another excellent QB even if Garrapolo doesn’t work out.

  59. “Serious question – does the ref have a responsibility to announce “ineligible” receivers? If not, fine. If so, he didn’t do it.”

    Uh yes they did announce it on the stadium PA and the ref could be clearly seen on one play screaming to the Ravens don’t cover 34 don’t cover 34 he’s ineligible when Vereen reported as such.

    We’ve all seen many teams have players report as ineligible once in awhile. The difference here is the Pats used it repeatedly to confuse the Ravens and the fact they didn’t get what was going on doesn’t make it cheating.

    Oh that’s right, the Pats do something within the legal rules and its “cheating”, other teams do the same things and its “legal” and “the other teams have nothing to cry about”. The double standard by many of the people here is pathetic.

  60. I doubt the rules committee will even look at this.
    If you don’t like the alignment, CALL A TIMOUT!
    Instead you let them run the play WITHOUT having the correct defense and then to make matters worse the HC runs out on the field and gets a DELIBERATE penalty?
    Clearly a breakdown by the Ravens coaching staff.
    This is football 101. We used to run this in Jr. High back in the ’70s.
    In the Seahawks – Panthers game, the Panthers came out and either 1) saw something the didn’t like or 2) the play clock was winding down, so the Panthers took a TIMEOUT. They came back out and the Seahawks immediately took a TIMEOUT because they saw something and wanted to have the correct defense in.
    It ain’t rocket science folks.

  61. “Right or wrong, legal or illegal, deceptive or in plain sight, it worked. And that’s all that matters at this point.”

    So if you blitz a 4th string CB with the express intent of going helmet to helmet with Brady to concuss him and remove him from the game, it’s okay because “right or wrong it works and that’s all that matters”

    What a moron.

  62. kate773 says:
    Jan 11, 2015 9:13 AM
    There’s no question as to whether it was legal. It was. The problem Harbaugh had was apparently that the refs didn’t make clear who was ineligible and give them time to adjust the defense.

    Blame the refs, not the Pats.

    Legal.

    ——

    Watch the replay. The ref points at Vereen and yells at the Ravens sideline, “34 is ineligible. Do not cover 34…”

    This is from post game review…
    ‘when the New England Patriots lined up in such a funky formation that the referee felt obligated to inform everyone in the stadium that under no circumstances should the Baltimore Ravens cover Shane Vereen since he was a “noneligible receiver,” ‘

    But somehow it’s still the refs fault, even though he clearly went beyond what he was supposed to do in order to provide the Ravens enough info to figure out what was going on.

    But keep blaming the refs…

    Lol

  63. justalonewolf says:
    Jan 11, 2015 11:48 AM
    and what happens when Brady stops playing? you don’t really see anyone on the roster that’ll take over for him do you? that’s because Brady will be done, then Belichick will be done as well, he is not that good he’s nowhere near good enough to win without Brady so coach Bill will be right behind Brady when Tom boy does go, so enjoy it now patsies LOL

    —–

    11-5 with Matt Cassel.

    With Matt Cassel. That was also only the 2nd time in history that an 11 win team didn’t make the playoffs.

    I’m pretty sure that = your point moot.

    I can end in all caps too!

    LOL

  64. “Always mystify, mislead, and surprise the enemy if possible.” Great quote and it works whatever the battlefield is. Glad we have BB as the Patriots’ general.

  65. Harbaugh should just look at some game film from his neighbors in Philly; The always innovative Chip Kelly ran this against against Washington in 2013..
    It has been done before and will be done again

  66. This is no more deceptive than running a hurry-up offense and prohibiting the defense from substituting. It’s up to the officials to tell the defense who is ineligible. Don’t blame the Patriots. If the Ravens didn’t have a clue what was going on they should have taken a time out and figured it out.

  67. steelcurtainn says:
    Jan 11, 2015 11:22 AM
    The pats barely escaped at home to a third place team. Tom Lady whines as much as crybaugh. The patty cakes don’t have what it takes to win it all. They’ll crumble again.

    —-

    You mean like they just did? Going behind by 14 points twice? Then coming back and winning by 4? Something never before done in the history of the NFL playoffs?

    I hope they “crumble” just like that all the way to the trophy.

    Do I think it’ll be easy? of course not. I think they can make the SB now, though. I don’t see either Denver or Indy giving the Pats a harder game than the Ravens did. Not in the Pats home stadium, anyway.

  68. Leave it to Pats fans and anyone else not associated with the losing team to spew garbage over something that really has no consequence on the final score. Fact, The Patriots won and the Ravens lost. Fact, Pats fans will always open their mouths about something another team did or said that they feel the slightest bit offended by and because of all this hubbub, the league will conduct another useless investigation.
    Get over yourselves Pats and go prepare for next week.

  69. This is what innovators do. They find quirky loopholes and then exploit them if an opportunity presents itself. Harbaugh complaining that Belichick used some arcane rule to his advantage is like a person complaining about somebody using an obscure word that they’ve never heard, yet is in a dictionary. The difference is that Belichick is a thinker. Perhaps Harbaugh should educate himself. Knowledge is power!

  70. The intent was to confuse the refs, not the Ravens. By announcing the ineligible receiver late in the play clock, the ref could stand over the ball to do their job. Changing the ineligible recever without subbing is like subbing. The Ravens weren’t confused they were not given the time to adjust to the sub. A ref saying. Numbe 34 is an eligible receiver, and number 34 is an ineligible receiver can sound similar with the crap sound system at Gillette.

  71. Bill knows how to get inside the head of a head case. That’s all these plays were about. Harbaugh will waste significant time schooling his players this summer on WR ineligible plays while Bill will have moved on to something else. Belicheck is always at least a couple of moves ahead of everyone else in the NFL. The Raves lost because they were out coached.

  72. Losing a playoff game that you were leading by 14 points twice is gonna hurt for a long long time. Ouch.

  73. I guess if you can’t use hidden camera’s to tape and study opposing teams defensive signals, you have extra time to find other tactics that come as close too cheating as possible. You can put lipstick on a pig, ….. But it’s still a pig.

  74. Harbaugh may want to be careful of the league will release the details of the agreement the Ravens seem to have with the refs. Sounds to me like they were going out of their way to help them, along with some phantom PI calls in their favor and letting them go when they are against them. Theres a reason they are #1 in the league at getting those calls, and its not a coincidence.

  75. the league are the ones the need to be investigated , they are the ones that have to announce to the other team who is an eligible receiver and who is not , i’ve never heard them announce who to cover and who to not . Bill is just smarter and more knowledgeable than everyone in football including the people paid to write and enforce the rules , sad for every other organization in football really .

  76. While I’ll give the Patriots credit for their victory, I believe that this play will be looked at by the rules commitee in the off season. My gut is that next year a player who declares himself ineligible will have to line up in within the tackle box. Good play by the Patriots who obviously know how to stretch any rule. Finally, Belechick is the most classless coach whwen it come sto accepting a loss. Exhibit A is his leaving the field with four seconds reamining on the clock when the Giants spoiled their quest for perfection in the Super Bowl. Hopefully, he’ll have the opportunity to leave the field early next week,

  77. Harbaugh whined during the game and explained the issue after. At least that’s better than whining your entire life about everything, Brady. Go Manning!

  78. why is this any different than defensive players standing at the line of scrimmage pretending to blitz, then dropping back, ALL of the defenders standing so you aren’t sure who’s coming and who isn’t, running a zone blitz, etc? the point of ALL those is to CONFUSE and DECEIVE the offense right? maybe they turn protection the wrong way and leave a WIDE OPEN blitzer (free runner), maybe a back releases and shouldnt have, maybe the qb throws the ball to a d-lineman who dropped into pass coverage.
    the rules allow you time to make substitutions based on personnel. it’s your job to see who is entering/exiting the game for your opponent and make substitutions accordingly. you are NOT afforded extra time to make substitutions based on the strategy the opposing team uses with its’ available personnel on a given play. simply put, you got outcoached. the pats obviously put this in thinking your players would not be prepared for it, and they weren’t. they also probably figured that you wouldn’t adjust, and you didn’t.

  79. steeldynasy, I think the difference is that you have a player with an eligible number ( 34) lined up in the slot. Further, the player breaks into the backfield and raises his hands like he’s calling for a pass. All of the reporting by the ref is done in a matter of seconds. While I think it is was a good play, I do think that the rules committee will scrutinize it over the off season. IMO there is a marked difference between masking a blitz and having a slot receiver being declared “ineligible” seconds before a snap.

  80. hakunamangata says:
    Jan 11, 2015 11:08 AM
    Gotta love the steeler trolls today, it’s almost as if they didn’t lose to the Ravens, force thier defensive coordinator out because he couldn’t get along with Tomlin, and revel in the fact that they have a higher draft pick (even though the last time they decided to pass on rookie of the year Mosley for shazier).

    Yep it’s all sunshine in western pa because another team did what they couldn’t.
    ___________________________________

    I agree, it is all sunshine in Western PA because the Pats beat your team. The Steelers welcome you to the offseason. I’m sure your team’s beating the Steelers in the WC will make you feel better when you’re watching the SB this year.

    LOL

  81. eastbaltruss says: Jan 11, 2015 1:37 PM

    While I’ll give the Patriots credit for their victory, I believe that this play will be looked at by the rules commitee in the off season. My gut is that next year a player who declares himself ineligible will have to line up in within the tackle box. Good play by the Patriots who obviously know how to stretch any rule. Finally, Belechick is the most classless coach whwen it come sto accepting a loss. Exhibit A is his leaving the field with four seconds reamining on the clock when the Giants spoiled their quest for perfection in the Super Bowl.
    ————————————————————-
    What is with you guys and the fixation on postgame handshakes? This is the kind of comment I expect my wife to make, and is one of the reasons I would never watch a football game with her.

  82. marshakkk says: Jan 11, 2015 12:51 PM

    I guess if you can’t use hidden camera’s to tape and study opposing teams defensive signals, you have extra time to find other tactics that come as close too cheating as possible. You can put lipstick on a pig, ….. But it’s still a pig.
    ————————————————————
    What are you, a Boy Scout? How is following the rules “close to cheating”? Listen, I’m sorry your big, tough Ravens got schooled again, but if it’s any consolation at least you guys destroyed the Steelers and caused them to fire that poor old man, so that’s good.

  83. marshakkk says: Jan 11, 2015 12:51 PM

    I guess if you can’t use hidden camera’s to tape and study opposing teams defensive signals, you have extra time to find other tactics that come as close too cheating as possible. You can put lipstick on a pig, ….. But it’s still a pig.
    ————————————————————
    What are you, a Boy Scout? How is following the rules “close to cheating”? Listen, I’m sorry your big, tough Ravens got schooled again, but if it’s any consolation at least you guys destroyed the Steelers and caused them to fire that poor old man, so that’s good.

    I guess reading comprehension is a challenge for you but, where does it say the Steelers fired Coac LeBeau? I would wait for your answer but I don’t want my pizza to get cold. Fairy tales may be your speed but most have moved on Carlos…give it a try.

  84. “I guess reading comprehension is a challenge for you but, where does it say the Steelers fired Coac LeBeau?”

    When a team announces that a DC has resigned, and then that DC announces that he is not retiring, then it is pretty clear that the team asked him to resign because they didn’t want to embarrass him by saying he was fired. Clearly the Steelers wanted to move on.

  85. Carlos, again I ask where it says he was fired? You what they say about assumptions. Try reading the Bleacher Report it will make it easier for you to grasp. Good luck!

  86. Good for Tom Brady! The Ravens decided to take the low road in defeat. They should have owned up to the loss. I am not surprised that the Ravens would create a lame excuse.

  87. Nofoolnodrool said 1 hour ago

    Carlos, again I ask where it says he was fired? You what they say about assumptions. Try reading the Bleacher Report it will make it easier for you to grasp. Good luck!
    ———————————————————-
    So you think he just decided on his own to up and quit to go coach somewhere else at age 77? Sorry, but you seem kinda naive.

  88. Who cares? The bottom line is that Belichick is too old to coach in this league and has lost his team, and Brady has lost his fast ball and is all washed up…..

    Things that make you go “Hmmmmm……..”

    I have lost count of the brilliant prime time football games the Patriots have given the fans over the years. Even if your team is on the losing end, you have to admit they tend to be involved in many of the best games to watch, and if your team is on the other sideline, it’s still got to be exciting to be in a game like that against them.

  89. eastbaltruss says: Jan 11, 2015 1:37 PM

    While I’ll give the Patriots credit for their victory, I believe that this play will be looked at by the rules commitee in the off season. My gut is that next year a player who declares himself ineligible will have to line up in within the tackle box. Good play by the Patriots who obviously know how to stretch any rule. Finally, Belechick is the most classless coach whwen it come sto accepting a loss. Exhibit A is his leaving the field with four seconds reamining on the clock when the Giants spoiled their quest for perfection in the Super Bowl.

    ***********************************************

    What happens in the Super Bowl is at the end of the game a crew runs onto the field and encircles the winning team with a barrier to begin the post game celebration. Opposing coaches are often left wandering around like an average Joe trying to get into the most popular nightclub in town, while the winning coach is being carried around on players shoulders. If you lose, you’re not getting in the club, so he left. The rest of that stuff is nonsense. Belichick shakes hands and talks to a lot of coaches, usually people he respects, i.e., not Eric Mangini, which is where all this nonsense began.

  90. Let me start out by saying, I don’t have a dog in this fight. I hate both of these teams. Belichick does what a coach is supposed to do, he gives his team the opportunity to win even if they are outmatched. I only hope my teams coach is thinking that way. I hate the fact that the Patriots won this game when they shouldn’t have, but I think that is Harbaugh’s fault. Plain and simple. He will learn from it, and be better in the future because of it. But yesterday, he got outcoached. By a country mile. I think after his ego heals, he will see that, or he isn’t really the coach I thought he was.

  91. Pat fans can say all they want that BB is great but until he wins the big game without cheating, and considering his playoff record since that time(mannings legacy is judged by his playoff record), Well just call him good. Let us see how he does after Brady, before Brady he was bad, very bad.

  92. When I was watching it on TV, the commentators had to go back to the replay and find where the ref said #34 was ineligible because the ref did it from BEHIND #34 while he was getting out of the line of play. The commentators were even surprised he was ineligible, so if they couldn’t see it from their vantage,what chance a defensive player on the field could see it and relay it before the ball was snapped.

    That being said, Joe played a good enough game that would normally give a win, making 31 points possible, but the defense just couldn’t do it. The penetration stopped happening up the middle of the line, allowing Brady to pass almost at will in the second half and the makeshift secondary just couldn’t handle it.

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