Jalen Hurts opens up Super Bowl LVII with a QB sneak TD via Highlight Heaven YouTube

Rules Expert Thinks The NFL May Change QB Sneak Play Due To The Philadelphia Eagles’ Success

At 14-3, the Philadelphia Eagles may not have snuck into Super Bowl LVII. But they certainly made people take notice of the quarterback sneak play, spearheaded by an all-world athlete under center, Jalen Hurts.

Jalen Hurts via Philadelphia Eagles YouTube

The Eagles actually announced their presence rather loudly, boasting a brash record and a team of electric athletes. Alongside NFL MVP runner-up Hurts were two 1,000-yard receivers in A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith and a workhorse back, Miles Sanders, who posted nearly 1300 yards on the ground. With a stunning defense to boot, they crashed the party in Glendale and came just a few points short of the franchise’s second Super Bowl title.

This loud and proud squad matriculated their way there through the simplest and shortest play imaginable: The quarterback sneak. Hurts’ mastery of the play often left defenses helpless, and the Eagles as the most prolific fourth-down team in pro football. The team went 22-for-32 on the final down this year, for an outstanding 68.8% conversion rate. With a mix of a balanced offense and a Broad Street attitude, they powered their way to the top of the NFC.

Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eaglies via Philadelphia Eagles YouTube

Now, the NFL may be stamping down on all the sneaking.

Former NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino, now the Rules Expert for FOX, says the play has provided an obvious advantage not just for the Eagles, but for any offense, thanks to what is regarded as the ‘tush push’. That’s where additional players behind the QB give him a push on the backside to help move the pile forward.

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Blandino says he thinks that the league will look to modify how this type of scrum occurs. “I’d be shocked if they don’t make a change.”

“I was talking to (Broncos head coach) Sean Payton during The Super Bowl, and he said we’re going to do this every time next season if they don’t take it out,’’ Blandino said. “It amounts to a rugby scrum”

“This is just not a skillful play,” he continued. “This is just a tactic that’s not an aesthetically pleasing play, and I think the competition committee is going to take a look at it.”

Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eaglies via Philadelphia Eagles YouTube

Blandino also compared this musclebound ‘man advantage’ to the same (now-banned) practice on the defensive side of the ball. Particularly during field goals and extra points.

“If you remember on field goals and extra points, they used to be able to push the defensive linemen into the formation,’’ he said. “You would find the weak link on the offensive line. They would have their legs interlocked. And you would get two, and sometimes three, defensive linemen and two linebackers all pushing into that player.”

“We got rid of that.”

Jalen Hurts via Philadelphia Eagles YouTube

The NFL will hold its annual League meetings on May 26-29 in Phoenix, Arizona. While it’s not clear yet if the QB Sneak rule will be on the agenda, officiating likely will be in general. The fans’ perception of fair calls on the field is extremely low right now. So, Roger Goodell & Company will surely be looking into that issue.

On a side note: Any adjustment that affects the Eagles will gain the NFL no Brotherly Love from the folks in Philadelphia. They’re still hot about a close third-down penalty call that helped Kansas City extend their last possession and essentially ended the game.

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