BOSTON (CBS) – It took all 60 minutes, but the Patriots were able to bring down conference rival Baltimore Saturday night at Gillette Stadium.

Much has been made about the Patriots’ unusual formations when they were down 28-14 midway through the third quarter.

Rarely seen in the NFL, but somewhat common in college and high school, the Patriots went with just four offensive lineman, and used a wide receiver (who was ineligible) as their fifth lineman. New England only used the formation three times, but connected on passes of 16, 11 and 14 yards.

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh was issued an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for arguing the formation to the officials, and said after the game that the formations were “clearly deception.” Brady later fired back they should have figured it out.

98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich were joined by CBS Sports’ Boomer Esiason Monday morning for his weekly interview to discuss the playcalling, among other things.

“For Bill Belichick, Tom Brady, Josh McDaniels and everybody else to bring out some of the plays that were deep in the playbook, those plays worked against the Ravens and ultimately allowed them to win the football game. That was absolutely fascinating,” Esiason told T&R.

Esiason admits as a broadcaster calling the game he had trouble keeping track of who was eligible, ineligible and what not, but he sees no problem with what New England did. For their part, the NFL also cleared the Patriots of any wrongdoing.

“The Patriots do a lot of deceptive things, and I can understand where John Harbaugh is coming from, but the fact of the matter is is that Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels did everything to the letter of the law,” said Esiason. “They told the officials before the game these were the exact plays they were gonna run, whether it be the double pass or the ineligible receiver [formation] with Shane Vereen. The way I look at it is the Patriots were brilliant with how they executed the play.”

Esiason, agreeing with Brady’s stance, adds that it’s up to the Ravens to figure it out.

“You are being deceptive, there’s no doubt about it. But you’re not breaking the rules. I understand where Harbaugh is coming from, but at the end of the day it’s too bad. You have to have somebody as a coach in your box who’s looking down on the field, recognizing that Nate Solder is leaving the field, you only have four offensive lineman and there’s a potential for this play. I thought it was a play of brilliance. Ultimately, that play and the double pass are the two plays in my estimation that led to their win after Joe Flacco had a brilliant three quarter game.”

Listen below for the full interview:

MORE PATRIOTS COVERAGE FROM CBS BOSTON
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