Pete Carroll is sleepless reviewing Patriots' offensive formations

Peter King, MMQB:
Whenever head referee Walt Anderson announced that an ineligible player was reporting as eligible, or vice versa, the home crowd of 68,756 roared as if the Patriots had just found the end zone in Sunday night’s AFC Championship Game.

Even those in the nosebleeds at Gillette Stadium knew what to expect: a trick play, but something more highbrow than a flea-flicker or a triple reverse. A referee’s announcement meant there would be a creative manipulation of the offensive formation, just like the ones New England had used to snooker the Ravens for three first downs on a critical third-quarter scoring drive in the divisional round a week earlier.

While none of us enjoy the two week delay between the conference championships and the Super Bowl, it does take away any excuses for teams not being prepared. In Super Bowl XLIV, the New Orleans Saints were successful in executing an onsides kick to start the second half against the Indianapolis Colts. The Saints trailed 10-6, and did not want the Colts' QB Peyton Manning to have the ball.

The Seattle fans may feel the need to blame the poor officiating in Super Bowl XL for their 21-10 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. The game was sealed on a gadget play. WR Antwaan Randle El took a reverse handoff and threw a 43-yard strike to WR Hines Ward. Randle El’s TD pass was the first by a wide receiver in Super Bowl history.

The Seahawks were able to complete a field goal trick play against the Green Bay Packers in the NFC title game on Sunday. Seattle had studied the movements of Packers' LB Brad Jones on film. The play worked to perfection with tackle eligible Garry Gilliam catching a 19 TD pass from P Jon Ryan.

“We didn’t line up right, and didn’t cover him,” Colts head coach Chuck Pagano said afterward. While Seattle has been forewarned about trick plays, the same holds true for the Patriots. Seattle was able to recover an onsides kick against the Green Bay Packers. Both teams should be quite familiar with terms: Holy Roller, Fumblerooski, Statue of Liberty, Hail Mary, Fail Mary and Hook and Ladder prior to kickoff for Super Bowl XLIX.

Baltimore Sun:
But it was a catch that he didn’t make that has dogged Jimmy Orr, and Colts’ fans, for 46 years. That was the play in Super Bowl III where quarterback Earl Morrall failed to spot a wide-open Orr waving wildly in the end zone. The flub cost Baltimore dearly in its 16-7 loss to the New York Jets.

Orr has watched the films many times. He figures he was 37 yards from the nearest defender while flailing his arms to draw Morrall’s attention.

Baltimore QB Earl Morrall changed his mind on the flea flicker by throwing to FB Jerry Hill. The pass was intercepted by Jets' S Jim Hudson. The same play had been used earlier in the regular season resulting in a TD pass from Morrall to Orr against the Atlanta Falcons.

"Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."

Paul Murphy is a freelance writer from New Hampshire.

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