Colts’ botched fake punt was an ‘insane’ fail

Colts wide receiver Griff Whalen watches teammate Colt Anderson get tackled Patriots players.
Colts wide receiver Griff Whalen watches teammate Colt Anderson get tackled Patriots players. –AP Photo/AJ Mast

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.

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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?’’

Michaels agreed.

“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.

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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