Next to a thousand storylines coming out of the Super Bowl, this is a footnote at best. But even so, as Graydon Gordian points out, we might have seen a version of Buddy Ryan's "Polish Goaline" tactic come to life almost 20 years after he left the NFL. That's where a team intentionally stacks the field with an extra defender, and takes the penalty.
As Ryan once wrote in the Houston Oilers' playbook:
The opponent is inside the 5 yard line going in to score. There is less than 15 seconds left. We want to stop their offense from scoring and in the process, we want to run the clock down to where they have enough time for just one play. So, we will stop them, get penalized half the distance to the goal, but leave them with enough time to run one play.
The 5-yard penalty put the Patriots at their own 49, but New England lost valuable seconds and was prevented from completing a pass by the extra defender. After the play there was a mere 9 seconds left to move the ball over 50 yards.
If they did it on purpose, it's completely legal. But should it be?
(Image via Smart Football)