A review of the Denver Broncos' pre-snap formation on the game-winning touchdown pass from Tim Tebow to Demaryius Thomas suggests that the play could have been ruled illegal.
Only six Denver Broncos players were lined up on the line of scrimmage before the snap. NFL rules says that a team must have seven or more players on the line for a snap to be legal. As the picture above shows, tight end Dante Rosario was well behind his teammates.
The formation eventually caught the eye of current Fox analyst and former NFL Vice President of Officiating Mike Pereira. He dismissed any suggestion that the play should have been whistled dead. "Watch on any Sunday," he tweeted. "This is a good formation compared to many. They are not technical with this."
In other words, the "seven men on the line" is a rule on the books but one that doesn't require a tape measure and straight edge to determine if every player is precisely on the line of scrimmage. If seven guys are close to line and set, Pereira...