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Dolphins File Missed Penalty Complaint on Jamie Collins Blocked Field Goal

The Dolphins have sent in a play to the NFL Office to Review. Does their complaint hold any water?

Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

According to Ben Volin of the Boston Globe, the Miami Dolphins are sending in Jamie Collins' blocked field goal to the NFL Office for further review. They are challenging that the Patriots had an illegal formation with seven players on the line of scrimmage to the right of the long snapper. Volin is a former beat writer for the Dolphins and is well sourced.

Volin states that the Dolphins are arguing that Collins' feet were within the defensive linemen's feet, which should make Collins count as "on the line of scrimmage." For emphasis, Volin isn't taking a stance, he's just reporting the facts.

My opinion? The Dolphins are grasping at more straws than my claim that Mike Wallace's end-of-half incompletion to touchdown shouldn't have been overturned.

Collins is clearly two yards off of the line of scrimmage, with his front foot two yards beyond the ball being snapped. Most odd about the complaint? There isn't a definition for the defense "on the line of scrimmage."

Rule 3, Section 19, Articles 1 and 2 define the scrimmage line and the "player on the line", but it's only in reference to players on offense.


Article 1 The Line of Scrimmage is the yard line (plane) passing through the forward point of the ball after it has been made ready for play. The term scrimmage line, or line, implies a play from scrimmage.


Article 2 A Player of Team A is on his line: (a) when his shoulders face Team B’s goal line, and (b) if he is the snapper, no part of his body is beyond the line at the snap, (c) if he is a non-snapper, his helmet must break the vertical plane that passes through the belt line of the snapper.

There's nothing in the rulebook about the Collins' positioning, which can't be fully determined without a better camera angle, saying that he can't be within the defensive linemen's feet when they're in position, even if that claim is dubious at best.

You might be hearing about this dispute from Miami tomorrow. You can gladly ignore it.