Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE ; Bad Fake Punt Call Hurt Indianapolis

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE ; Bad Fake Punt Call Hurt Indianapolis

Article excerpt

INDIANAPOLIS - Coach Chuck Pagano stared straight into the cameras and tried to explain what went wrong on Sunday night's botched fake punt. It was inexplicable.

On a night, the Colts finally went toe-to-toe with their bitter rivals, a bungled play call gave Tom Brady a short field and a gift chance to put the game away. He did. Brady led the Patriots on a 35- yard touchdown drive to seal a 34-27 victory at Indianapolis.

"The whole idea there was on fourth-and-3 or less, shift our alignment to where you either catch them misaligned, they try to sub some people in, catch them with 12 men on the field and if you get a certain look, you can make a play, Pagano said. "Alignment-wise, we weren't lined up correctly and then there was a communication problem on the snap and I take responsibility for that.

They didn't fool anyone.

Indianapolis (3-3) never recovered and now their hope of hosting New England in a potential playoff game plan probably is gone, too.

How did it happen?

Receiver Griff Whalen, who snapped the ball to safety Colt Anderson, called it a miscommunication. Pagano blamed himself. But all that really mattered was the result.

"It's obviously not ideal," Andrew Luck said. "At the same time, a couple of three-and-outs didn't help the cause."

Brady took full advantage of the miscues in one of the strangest games of this long, heated rivalry.

He threw for 312 yards, three touchdowns and led the Patriots to a 34-27 victory Sunday night in the highly anticipated "Deflategate" rematch.

But in a series defined by wild games and crazy plays, Indy's awful fake punt might have been the worst of the worst. With most of Indianapolis' players shifted up near the right sideline, receiver Griff Whalen inexplicably snapped the ball to safety Colt Anderson, who was immediately tackled for a 1-yard loss.

That gave the Patriots the ball at the Colts 35. Six plays later, Brady broke free from the pass rush and hooked up with LeGarrette Blount for an 11-yard touchdown pass to give the Patriots a 34-21 lead early in the fourth quarter.

Indy never recovered.

New England has won seven straight over its longtime rival and is 5-0 for the first time since its 16-0 season in 2007. …

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