Colts’ Awful, Doomed Trick Play Was Tried In College, And Was Successful
Rick Chandler 12:30 pm, October 19th, 2015
Your eyes were not deceiving you on Sunday night, when the Indianapolis Colts lined up in that freaky punt formation late in the third quarter, on their own side of the field, and snapped the ball. Here it is again, in case you thought that it was the beer and spicy sausage links messing with your head:
John Madden on KCBS-Radio San Francisco this morning.
"There's an old saying in the NFL, "The ball draws a crowd." So to think that you're going to run a play like that and the players aren't going to know where the ball is, I think that's a little foolish."
The Colts had Griff Whalen over the ball and safety Colt Anderson under center -- what could possibly go wrong -- and the Patriots just swarmed the ball for a one-yard loss. They used the excellent field position to march to a touchdown, and New England ended up winning by 7.
Colts head coach Chuck Pagano explained what he was trying to do. USA Today:
“The whole idea there was on fourth-and-3 or less, we shift to an alignment to where we could catch them misaligned. They tried to sub some people in. Catch them with more men on the field — 12 men on the field. And if you get a certain look, you have three (or) two yards to make a play.
“We shifted over and I didn’t do a good enough job coaching it during the week. Alignment wise, we weren’t lined up correctly and we had a communication breakdown between the quarterback and snapper. That’s on me.”
It was fourth-and-3, but obviously the ball shouldn't have been snapped. But as rickety and doomed as this play looked on Sunday night, there's at least one example of it working to win a game. The University of Maine pulled it off in 2011 against James Madison in overtime. Differences: Maine used its normal quarterback and center with the ball, and the QB was in shotgun.