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New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick’s coaching had less to do with New England’s victory at Super Bowl LIII than the cheating being performed by Belichick’s pass-defenders.

If you study the replays from the game, the standard practice by the New England pass defenders is to crowd the opposing team’s receivers, hook their right arm under the receiver’s left arm and holding the receiver’s left arm against their chest or side. In effect, the receiver is left with only their right arm and hand to catch the ball. The technique was so blatant; I could not believe the officiating staff did not catch the illegal defense technique and call pass interference on the New England players. I believe pass interference was only called once on New England during the whole game. Yet, I observed this technique being used throughout the game by New England pass defenders.

The only passes the Los Angeles Rams completed happened when the Rams’ receivers were able to gain separation from the New England defenders. I don’t know if the officiating turned a blind eye to this defensive technique, are that naive or were on the take from New England. When teams are consistently unable to complete their passes when receivers are being crowded by the pass defenders, the catch sequence during the play needs to be reviewed by the officials for possible pass interference by the defending players. This should be a standard procedure for NFL games.

William Stone


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