The Baltimore Ravens were the victims of some very creative play calling and formation sets by the New England Patriots in the playoffs. That, coupled with the fact they blew a pair of 14-point leads en route to defeat, made them quite angry.
Although they complained at the time, the formations the Patriots used were legal. The most controversial was the one where they split a running back out in the slot, but declared him ineligible, while an offensive lineman lined up on the far left was an eligible receiver.
Starting next season, that formation will be illegal. However, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh says he has a few tricks up his sleeve.
“We are working on formations – legal formations, illegal formations, unexpected formations,” Harbaugh told USA Today. “The first time we ran it, you heard (linebacker Terrell) Suggs out there saying, ‘That’s not legal, that’s not legal.’ We will not assume that the referees are going to understand or always get it right when a formation goes out on the field, so we’re working on everything.”
It’s an obvious dig at the Patriots and the AFC Divisional loss from January, but at least the tone is much more light-hearted now.