When it comes to the NFL, coaches around the league are always trying to one up their opponents. They do this by coming up with ideas for plays which will catch the other team off guard. Unfortunately though, last night, Colts coach Chuck Pagano, may have come up with the worst play in NFL history, thanks to him and his team trying to run a fake punt against the New England Patriots on Sunday Night Football.
Facing a fourth-and-3 on their own 37-yard line, the Indianapolis Colts first lined up for what appeared to be a normal punt. Then, all of a sudden, the majority of the players on the field for the Colts ran toward the right sideline, leaving just two players in the middle of the field where the ball would be snapped. There were basically two defenders lined up on one blocker, and despite all signs pointing to the Colts simply calling a timeout to regroup, the team actually snapped the ball. This left wide receiver Griff Whalen as the snapper/blocker, and Anderson under center. The snap went to Anderson, who was quickly wrapped up for a loss by the Patriots.
The play looks as though it was a disaster from the start, but the fact that they snapped the ball, knowing quite well that Griff Whalen would need to block two guys at once, merely to prevent a loss of yards, showed that there was certainly quite a bit of confusion on the part of Pagano and the Colts’ ‘team.
“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 explained via the Associated Press. “Alignment-wise we weren’t lined up correctly, and then a communication problem on the snap. I take responsibility for that.”
If you watch the video as seen below, you will see that it appears as though the Colts are lined up in a modified punt formation on the bottom of your screen. Perhaps the idea was to catch the Patriots off guard, and make them think that the ball was being snapped from that area. However, the Patriots are too well of a coached team to fall for a trick as blatant as that.
Perhaps Pagano was thinking that, as the Colts players flocked toward the sideline, all of the Patriots players would have followed at first, giving them just enough time to snap the ball and run it toward the left sideline. Of course this is just a guess, but what else could Pagano have been thinking?