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League says Broncos lined up legally on OT play vs. Steelers

  • By Dan Hanzus NFL.com
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Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow dropped to one knee and thanked a higher power after his winning 80-yard touchdown pass in overtime Sunday, but should he have saved some gratitude for the officiating crew?

That was the question posed by Bay Area News Group, which pulled a screen grab from the CBS game telecast that appears to show just six players on the line of scrimmage immediately before Tebow's final throw to Demaryius Thomas against the Steelers.

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There are seven players in the direct vicinity of the line of scrimmage -- the minimum allowed by rule -- but tight end Dante Rosario appears to be beyond the 1-yard limit designated by the NFL rulebook. If that was the case, the Broncos would have -- technically speaking -- been in an illegal formation.

However, before grieving Steelers fans get too wound up, be advised that the NFL said the Broncos played within the rules on the play in question.

"There is nothing to this," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told NFL.com and NFL Network on Tuesday. "This is a legal formation. This should not have been flagged."

Mike Pereira, the NFL's former vice president of officiating and current "rules expert" for Fox, agreed no flag should have been thrown.

"Watch on any Sunday. This is a good formation compared to many," Pereira told Bay Area News Group. "They are not technical with this."

With this knowledge in hand, Steelers fans can officially can go back to blaming poor Ike Taylor.

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