Cue “Yakety Sax.’’
The Colts are responsible for what may be the most inexplicable and ill-fated fake punt attempt of the 2015 NFL season. The Patriots were the beneficiaries of this unintentional bit of on-field comedy on Sunday night in Indianapolis.
On a fourth-and-three play at their own 37-yard line while trailing 27-21 with 1:12 remaining in the third quarter, the Colts shifted into an unorthodox formation instead of simply punting. Most of the Colts players shifted toward the home sideline, leaving only safety Colt Anderson and wide receiver Griff Whalen near the ball. With the Patriots not seeming especially fooled, Whalen actually snapped the ball to Anderson.
None of this worked out well for the Colts.
NBC announcers Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth were stunned by the botched play, marveling at the unusual brand of failure they had just witnessed.
“There is absolutely no way possible that they should have snapped that ball and tried to sneak it. There were three, four, five guys around two players. That was insane,’’ Collinsworth said. “You got a guy on either side of them! What are you doing here? They don’t even try to run a play. We’ve seen a lot of bizarre stuff. I have never seen anything more bizarre than that. What was the plan?’’
“I don’t know,’’ he responded. “It looked completely nuts.’’
Collinsworth wasn’t done yet.
“It had to be complete screw up,’’ he added. “I mean, it’s the only explanation.’’
The reaction to the play on Twitter was more of the same.
So...sweet fake punt.— Greg A. Bedard (@GregABedard) October 19, 2015
That fake punt was amazing on so many level ... bad alignment, mistimed snap, poor design ... Pagano -- not good— Paul Perillo (@pfwpaul) October 19, 2015
The Patriots should complain to the NFL this week about the affront to fake punts that just took place on the field #protecttheshield— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) October 19, 2015
I still think that fake punt could have worked if there wasn't one guy blocking 5 Patriots.— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) October 19, 2015
Deceased: Hurley, Michael Time of death: 10:48 p.m., 10-18-2015 Cause of death: Colts Fake Punt— Michael Hurley (@michaelFhurley) October 19, 2015
That Colts "fake punt" was incredibly awful, stupid, and illegal. I'm not sure I've seen something as horrible in my years in sports.— Brett Myhres (@BrettMyhres) October 19, 2015
Even the Michigan Wolverines are laughing at the Colts right now.— Complex Sports (@Complex_Sports) October 19, 2015
I can't even call it a fake punt. No one was faked.— Dan Wetzel (@DanWetzel) October 19, 2015
After being gifted good field position by the Colts, the Patriots scored six plays later when quarterback Tom Brady connected with running back LaGarrette Blount on an 11-yard touchdown pass. The score extended the Patriots lead to 34-21.
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