During Sunday’s football game between the Indianapolis Colts and the New England Patriots, the Colts ran a very questionable fake punt while only down by a touchdown to the reigning Super Bowl champs. The play had a wide receiver snapping the ball to a safety and it was a disaster.
On Tuesday, Colts punter Pat McAfee explained on “The Bob and Tom Show” where exactly the play went wrong. It turns out that the wide receiver, Griff Whalen, was never supposed to be lining up as the center, but had to play due to injury and he was unaware that there had been a wrinkle added over the last week to not snap the ball, hoping to draw the Patriots defense off sides.
“The point of the play is a deception play. So, you’re trying to manipulate the [receiving team] into thinking they have to sub their defense back on. We are sprinting to the sideline in hopes to make the other team think we are subbing our offense back onto the field. So, when they think the offense is coming back on the field, your hope is that they think their defense has to come back on the field,” McAfee said.
“The gunner who became the center all week was Clayton Geathers,” he added. “Clayton Geathers gets injured in the second quarter. Insert Griff Whalen who had never done it before. So Griff Whalen is now the new center in a play he’s never practiced before. Last week, while Griff was fielding punts, we added something to try and draw them offsides if they don’t do their substitution. Griff never got the heads up this was happening, because it’s not in the playbook. Stanford guy, reads the playbook, knows everything he has to do, but if he’s not there for an audible that’s added, he can’t know.”