Losing a playoff game is never easy, especially when you think you’ve lost because the other team was cheating. In Saturday’s division playoff game, Baltimore Ravens’ Head Coach John Harbaugh thinks that the New England Patriots may have made some not-so-legal substitutions in order to win the tight game, 35-31, and move on to play for the American Football Conference title.
As the Boston Globe reported, during one play in the game, the Patriots only had four offensive linemen in the game. Six players were eligible and there was supposed to be seven players on the line. With only four players at the line, the Ravens defense was unsure who they should cover, and when Harbaugh stepped onto the field to try to bring up the issue to the referees, he was penalized 15 yards for “unsportsmanlike conduct.”
Harbaugh explained his actions after the game.
“We wanted an opportunity to be able to ID who the eligible players were. Because what they were doing was they would announce the eligible player and then Tom [Brady] would take them to the line right away and snap the ball before we even had a chance to figure out who was lined up where. That was the deception part of it. It was clearly deception.”
Play that Ravens’ coach Harbaugh objected to when he was penalized for “unsportsmanlike conduct.”
[Image via SB Nation][/caption]
While he finally got his point across to the officials on the field, the penalty set-up the Patriots to make a five-yard touchdown that cut Baltimore’s 14-point lead in half. According to CBS Sports, Harbaugh’s complaint was brought up to Tom Brady during his post-game press conference, but the Patriots’ quarterback dismissed the accusations by suggesting Harbaugh look at the rules.
“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. Maybe we’ll have something in store next week.”
Patriot’s head coach Bill Belichick has been accused of cheating before. The Inquisitr reported that in 2007, Belichick had a Patriots’ staff member videotape the opposing teams’ play signals. Former Miami Dolphins’ head coach, Mike Shula, even referred to Belichick as ‘Beli-cheat’ earlier in the week.
By winning the game, the Patriots will face either Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos or Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts for the AFC championship.
Did the Patriots cheat or is Harbaugh just pouting about losing the game? Tell us what you think by commenting below.
[Image by Boston Globe]