February 17, 2023
The most unstoppable play in the NFL in 2022 was the Eagles' quarterback sneak. As Jalen Hurts plunged himself forward towards a first down or a touchdown, his Eagles teammates would come from behind him and help push him through. It may have given off some rugby vibes, but with the strength and physicality of both Hurts and this offensive line, it was a perfect pairing the Eagles rode to the Super Bowl.
The Birds might not be able to do so in 2023.
Dean Blandino, an NFL referee rules analyst for FOX Sports and The 33rd Team, believes the NFL will take a hard look at this move the offseason.
"I think the league is going to look at this, and I’d be shocked if they don’t make a change," Blandino said in a story on The 33rd Team.
Blandino previously served as the NFL's vice president of officiating from 2013 to 2017.
Here's more from The 33rd Team writer Paul Domowitch:
The league’s competition committee will meet in two weeks at the league scouting combine in Indianapolis and then again prior to the NFL owners meeting in Phoenix in late March. The Tush Push will be on their agenda. Any rule change recommendations by the committee would be voted on by the owners in Arizona.
“I was talking to (Denver Broncos coach) Sean Payton during Sunday’s game, 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. The NFL wants to showcase the athleticism and skill of our athletes. This is just not a skillful play. This is just a tactic that is not an aesthetically pleasing play, and I think the competition committee is going to take a look at it.’’ [The 33rd Team]
Maybe other NFL teams should've tried to replicate this instead of throwing a tantrum? The short answer is that between Hurts and this elite offensive line, the Eagles were uniquely equipped to find success here. You think the Falcons could've pulled this off with Desmond Ridder? How about the Saints and Andy Dalton? Mac Jones in New England? I think not.
This push has been legal in the NFL since 2005, per Domowitch, but it appears that way the Eagles dominated with it rubbed some the wrong way.
I'm sure it'll go over well in Philadelphia that the NFL is cracking down on a play that solely the Eagles used to their advantage during a historic offensive season.
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