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Rules expert says Eagles' trick play illegal

FOX rules analyst and former NFL official Mike Pereira said Monday on a podcast that Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles' fourth-down touchdown was in Super Bowl LII was an illegal play.

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On the Talk of Fame network podcast, Pereira's basis is that wide receiver Alshon Jeffrey was lined up incorrectly in the formation on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line.

"I know the league came out and said that it's a judgment call, which it is," Pereira said on the podcast with Clark Judge. "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 (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."

If the Eagles were penalized for an illegal formation, they would have received a five-yard penalty and been pushed back to the 6-yard line.

Foles caught a touchdown pass from tight end Trey Burton with 38 seconds left that gave the Eagles a 22-12 halftime lead in their eventual 41-33 triumph over the New England Patriots.

Burton lined up behind wide receiver Torrey Smith and took the pitch from running back Corey Clement to throw to Foles in the right side of the end zone.

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