The Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Commanders played an instant classic on Sunday, with the defending NFC champions escaping by the skin of their teeth with an overtime victory, 34-31. The Eagles won the game on a 54-yard field goal by Jake Elliott, ruining an outstanding effort from Commanders QB Sam Howell.
Howell led the Commanders to a game-tying score on the final play in regulation. Commanders head coach Ron Rivera avoided his gambling ways, opting for the extra point to tie the game rather than the two-point conversion and the victory.
The game was not without controversy, as the Eagles converted on a short down and distance in overtime, but on replay, it looked like the Eagles may have gotten away with a false start. It appears that several members of the Commanders’ defensive line lined up offsides, but this version of the QB sneak is causing controversy throughout the league.
Why Is the ‘Brotherly Shove’ Controversial?
The QB sneak has been a play call as long as the NFL has been around. One of the best ways to convert on a short down and distance is for the QB to follow his interior offensive linemen up the middle for a yard or two. Bart Starr made it famous for the Packers. Tom Brady made it famous for the Patriots. Now Jalen Hurts is making it infamous.
The Tush Push on this play led to a 1st down and the game-winning FG for the Eagles.
— Pro Football Network (@PFN365) October 1, 2023
Those who are against the play’s execution say it’s not aesthetically pleasing to watch and that players should not be able to line up behind the QB and push him forward in a rugby-style play. The Eagles used the sneak to perfection a season ago on their way to the Super Bowl.
During the NFL offseason, the play was discussed, with several asking the league to ban the “Brotherly Shove.” The NFL decided to allow the sneak, much to the chagrin of those who hate the execution of the play. Given how much controversy it has caused in 2023, expect the league to revisit a potential ban in the offseason.
Can Anyone Run the Play?
Yes, every team can call a similar QB sneak in a similar formation.
I’ll be glad when this play is banned.
— Raa'zuel (@freshdaily31) October 1, 2023
Can Anyone Run the Play Successfully?
The Eagles got the benefit of the doubt on two questionable calls in overtime. Unfortunately loss for the Commanders
— Brad Kempaner (@BradKempaner) October 1, 2023
No. Therein lies the rub. Mac Jones and Justin Fields were stopped on Sunday on similar plays. Perhaps having one of the best offensive lines in football, with one of the strongest QBs, makes a difference.