GLENDALE, Ariz., Jan. 31 (UPI) -- The New England Patriots are again under a cloud of suspicion after the NFL's head of officiating said that one of the team's six touchdowns in its AFC championship win over the Indianapolis Colts, "should not have been allowed," according to the Boston Globe.
Dean Blandino told the Globe that the Patriots should have received a penalty for an illegal substitution on the play and been penalized five yards, instead of reaping the benefits of Nate Solder's touchdown.
After mixing in eligible and ineligible receivers during the game, the Patriots used offensive tackle Cameron Fleming as an eligible receiver on the play prior to the score. Fleming returned to an, ineligible, lineman position on the Solder play, but did not sit out for a play and there was no stoppage in play, contradicting the NFL rules.
The Patriots proceeded to pound the Colts 45-7, despite deflated footballs and blown calls, and will face Seattle in Super Bowl XLIX at 6:30 p.m. Sunday at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale.