What in the World Were the Colts Thinking on that Fake Punt?
By Ha Kung Wong Indianapolis Colts
On Sunday Night Football, The New England Patriots manage to beat the Indianapolis Colts 34-27. It actually was a much closer game than I imagined it would be, seeing as how the Patriots were on a “screw everyone in 2015 for doubting us and our footballs” scoring spree and the Colts were barely healthy enough to get on the field. But the biggest shocker was how the Patriots won, which had nothing to do with what the Patriots did, and a lot to do with what the Colts did on an ill fated fake punt with a minute and 14 seconds left in the third quarter.
On 4th and 3, the Colts initially lined up to punt, but then shifted to a bizarre formation with only WR Griff Walen on the ball and S Colt Anderson presumably under center. Of course, one problem was that this formation was totally illegal. The other problem is that Anderson is a safety. For those who don’t watch a lot of football, safeties don’t normally line up under center…or play offense at all. But more bizarre is what transpired after they took that formation.
At first, I thought they were simply trying to draw the Patriots offsides to get the first down. But the more I thought about it after the fact, the more I thought that perhaps there MAY have been other legitimate reasons to try this formation (though not exactly since it WAS an illegal formation, but something like it).
Perhaps they were trying to do something like the University of Maine did for this two-point conversion, which was essentially a simple weak side sweep:
— Maine Football (@BlackBearsFB) October 19, 2015
Or maybe they were trying to be a little trickier, like Texas Tech did with this two-point conversion, which required some good timing but ultimately was simply amazing:
Of course, none of that actually happened for the Colts. Instead, this is what happened:
— NFL (@NFL) October 19, 2015
So, clearly, Walen had a lot of confidence that Anderson was going to be able to leap five defenders in a single bound Super Man-style or that he was Bobby Boucher from the classic Adam Sandler film “Waterboy”.
Of course, later, Coach Chuck Pagano tried to explain:
“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. Alignment-wise we weren’t lined up correctly, and then a communication problem on the snap. I take responsibility for that.”
Um, wow. That’s a pretty complicated plan to try and catch them with 12 men on the field. I suspect if the Pats were really scared, they would have just called a timeout. Though I doubt they were concerned since Bill Belichick probably noticed that a number of Colts weren’t properly on the line of scrimmage, so it was an illegal formation anyway.
Either way, perhaps the Colts should try less complicated trick plays from here on in. I suppose if the plan somehow worked, we’d all be calling Pagano a genius right now. But in this case, I think Pagano just managed to out think his own team.