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The Philadelphia Eagles got a second life on a key drive Sunday when officials called a leverage penalty on the Los Angeles Rams. The only problem was nobody could see where a violation occurred.
Jake Elliott hit a field goal with just under six minutes remaining in the fourth quarter to give the Eagles a 37-35 lead. The leverage penalty,
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, and the win could have huge implications in seeding for the NFC playoffs (though obviously Carson Wentz’s injury affects everything the rest of the way).,
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, called on linebacker Samson Ebukam, and the Eagles returned a lateral for a touchdown to win 43-35. The Eagles clinched the NFC East title with the win,
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, gave the Eagles 15 yards and an automatic first down. The Eagles took about two minutes off the clock before Elliott hit a field goal to end the drive. The Rams got the ball back with less than four minutes left, and punted after not getting a first down. Those lost two minutes were huge when the Eagles ran down the clock to seven seconds remaining before punting it. The Rams had the chance to run just one more offensive play
The problem with the call on Ebukam was that nobody could find a clear penalty. It looked like a normal field goal rush on replays.
“Nothing I see that merits a call at all,
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, the former NFL head of officiating who is generally very accurate in his officiating analysis.,
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,” said Fox’s Mike Pereira
” Fox analyst Troy Aikman said. “He didn’t do anything and I didn’t see much for anybody else.”,
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,“It certainly wasn’t Ebukam
nobody on the Fox broadcast could identify anyone else who committed a leverage penalty.,
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,The NFL made penalties on field-goal attempts a point of emphasis,
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, including: “Using the hands or other parts of the body to push off an offensive blocker to gain leverage in an effort to block the kick.” If that happened on the Eagles’ attempt,
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, and that’s a tough call to make that late in the game when it’s not a clear foul. Even if Ebukam was misidentified,
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, it wasn’t obvious
Considering Pereira, an expert in his field,
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,didn’t see anything he could even identify as a foul,
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, it’s fair to assume the Rams won’t be pleased with it either.
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