The New England Patriots, attempting to be the first NFL team to go 19-0, will have the final penalty in their "Spy Gate" saga handed down in the Super Bowl. After all of the fines and other restrictions they have received this year, this one may have the most dramatic impact on their success and chances of winning.
The Patriots, who are 86 point favorites over the Giants at press time, were not overly upset at the announcement of the penalties. Quarterback Tom Brady said that "we've got to take our medicine for our mistakes. I'm confident that we can overcome this and win the game."
Restrictions to the Patriots on Sunday will include the following:
- If the Patriots score, they will kick off to the Giants. If, however, the Giants score, "make it, take it" rules will apply and they will get the ball back.
- Patriot extra points will be standard, but the Giants will receive three for a kick and four for crossing the goal line.
- The Patriots will not be allowed to return interceptions or fumbles, but will required to "play it as it lays."
- The Patriots will be required to run off-tackle on first down.
- The Patiots will be required to only use their punter and kicker as running backs in short yardage situations.
- New England will be allowed only one time out per half and no challenges. New York will get theirs and the remainder of the Patriot time outs and challenges.
- The Patriots will only be permitted to keep nine men on the field. The Giants can play with as many as they want.
- The Patriots will kick off at their own five yard line.
- The Patriot coaches will not be allowed any communications devices to speak with coaches in the press box upstairs. Instead, music from Sesame Street will be played in their headsets.
- The Giants will be allowed to use Peyton Manning instead of Eli Manning.
Even after learning of these restrictions, the Patriots remain 86 point favorites to win. The over/under is also still listed at 86.