The Patriots were given new life on Sunday when Chiefs linebacker Dee Ford was called for an offsides penalty on what would have been the game-ending interception.
The call, which was accurate, was made because Ford clearly lined up in the neutral zone. The CBS broadcast didn’t provide a line-of-scrimmage view, but video and photo taken from Arrowhead confirmed the call.
On the other end, though, many Chiefs fans took issue with Patriots left tackle Trent Brown. In the initial view, it looked like Brown was lined up in the backfield — an illegal formation.
Yet, other footage of that play showed that Brown was in a legal position.
According to NFL rules, non-snappers on the line of scrimmage must be breaking the plane of the center’s beltline with his helmet.
Though it was close, Brown did meet that requirement.
Had the illegal formation penalty been called, it might not have made a difference anyway. The offsetting penalties would have kept the ball with New England, negating the interception. And we all know how that played out.
The call was still right.