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Patriots-Ravens: It was deception; and that's the point.

Updated on January 12, 2015

Pats' tight end was wide open due to scheme

In the 2nd half of the AFC Divisional Round game between the New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens, the Pats used a very confusing formation that led their tight end to be wide open.

Before the play, Shane Vereen clearly declared himself ineligible to the referees. He's considered a lineman and can't run a route for a pass.

Although he was ineligible, he lined up as if he would run a route until the ball was snapped when he retreated and faked like he could get a short screen pass.

On the other side of the field, 1 of the Pats' typical blocking TEs, Michael Hoomanawanui, was lined up like a lineman, but was actually eligible to run a route and catch a pass.

It led him to be wide open and Tom Brady went right to him for a couple of 1st downs (and, ultimately, led to at least 1 TD).

The formation was a great scheme and Baltimore's D had no idea what to do.

You're supposed to fool the defense, Coach Harbaugh....

Ravens' Coach John Harbaugh went nuts on the sideline (and got a penalty) because he thought this formation gave the Patriots an unfair advantage.

To paraphrase, he said his defense didn't have enough time to identify the Pats' eligible receivers.

I think that's the point, Coach....

As mentioned, Vereen clearly declared himself ineligible. Any sort of pass to him would have been a penalty. If your defense was watching Vereen declare himself, they would've known not to cover him.

It's deception and the Pats are entitled to do that if it's legal.

New England showed the Ravens a formation/look they hadn't seen before and the Pats took advantage of it which ultimately led to them winning the game.


League review?

Coach Harbaugh went on to say that the NFL should review this type of play.

They can review it all they want, but what is there to discuss?

The only thing I could see changing was having to declare ineligibility sooner.

It's still a fair play and the Ravens shouldn't have tried to cover Vereen when they see him go to a ref and rub his jersey.

In a loss, it just sounds like whining from the Ravens' coach. What makes it even worse is that he's whining about a FAIR play.

Make the adjustment and then make the play. It's that simple, Coach.

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