John Harbaugh calls out Patriots
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The Patriots cheated. That's what Baltimore Ravens' head coach John Harbaugh thinks, anyway.
In an article on NFL.com, Harbaugh is quoted saying, "It's not something that anybody has ever done before. They're an illegal type of a thing and I'm sure that (the league will) make some adjustments and things like that."
Harbaugh is referring to the Patriots' unconventional offensive formations that they displayed in Saturday's 35-31 AFC divisional playoff game victory.
The Patriots have responded to Harbaugh's audacious allegations with head coach Bill Belichick stating in an article on ESPN.com, "It's a play that we thought would work. We ran it three times, a couple different looks. We had six eligible receivers on the field, but only five were eligible. The one who was ineligible reported that he was ineligible. No different than on the punt team or a situation like that."
Patriots' quarterback Tom Brady's reaction was less diplomatic than Belichick's stating in the same article, "Maybe those guys gotta study the rule book and figure it out. We obviously knew what we were doing and we made some pretty important plays. It was a real good weapon for us."
In an article released by ESPN.com news services around 2 p.m. on Sunday afternoon a spokesman for the NFL told ESPN that the Patriots' substitutions were "legal."
Cheaters or not, the AFC championship game the Patriots will be playing in against the winner of the Broncos/Colts matchup next weekend is the team's fourth straight.