Breaking Down The Indianapolis Colts’ Dumpster Fire Of A Trick Play From Last Night

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Nice Move


It’s not very often that we get to see poetry in motion. Something so beautiful that your brain can’t get enough of and blinking suddenly becomes a voluntary action, lest you miss even a second of the ethereal beauty. You know when you make eye contact with a dog while it’s mid-dump and you both just stare into each other’s eyes until he finishes? You feel dirty during this staredown because you know it’s gazing into your soul while rocking a gaping anus, but it’s just so new to you, so enlightening, and it feels so right that you know you’ll come out better for the experience? The Indianapolis Colts are that dog, and last night’s trick play is that gaping anus.

If you haven’t seen the play yet, I recommend watching it about a zillion times. I’ll wait here while you do. If you’ve already chain-watched the video, feel free to skip to the breakdown. Here’s the play:

Now let’s break it down.

The Situation

It’s 4th & 3. You’re on your own 37-yard line, and it’s a one-score game with 1:14 left in the 3rd quarter. You have three timeouts remaining. Your punter is averaging 49 yards per punt for the game, meaning odds are if you punt it, you’ll stick your opponent back within their own 15. Even if McAfee puts it in the endzone, the Patriots will still only be on their own 20. So let’s just say that if the Colts punt the ball, and McAfee doesn’t shank it, the worst thing that can happen is that the Patriots are on their own 20 yard line.

The Idea For The Fake

Chuck Pagano’s a smart guy. You know all that stuff I just said about the Patriots’ would-have-been field position? I believe that Chuck knew all of that. I just think he thought, “I know ‘Chick knows all that, too. I’ma get him. Bill’s about to get got.”

What Pagano didn’t take into account, though, is that elite NFL personae all take the Marshawn Lynch approach to getting got.

Belichick got his more than Pagano got his. Chuck got got.

The Formation

Referee’s ruling: “Illegal formation: The whole right side of the line was not on the line of scrimmage.”

Translation: “Illegal formation: Literally nobody is where they’re supposed to be except for McAfee, but I’m pretty sure he’s blazed AF right now.”

My original thought is that it was illegal because the Colts just performed an abortion on the field without adhering to Indiana’s 18-hour waiting period. Probably a little of both led to that yellow flag.

The Snap

In case it wasn’t abundantly clear by the 2-on-5 mismatch, the ball was never meant to be snapped. Pagano explained this after the game.

I’m assuming that the man under center, Colts Wide Receiver Griff Whalen, saw the play clock zooming down towards zero and, having never snapped a ball before in his life, figured that since a timeout had never been called, it was up to him to give birth to the ball baby. After all, a delay of game penalty is the worst possible thing, right? The sign of a poorly-run offense? Whalen wasn’t about to let the team down.

“Can’t embarrass the squad on Sunday Night Football,” he probably thought. “The five-yard penalty me and my team would incur would be absolutely devastating.”

Except that if they took the penalty and then punted it, McAfee would still have probably stuck the Patriots within 20. Whalen, whose mind I’m sure never stumbled across this realization, shot that brown load through his legs in an act oddly foreshadowing the shit this play was about to take all over the Colts’ night. The fact that Whalen snapped the ball to a safety whose name is Colt is just the beautiful cherry on top that this story needed to pull everything together.

Nice try, nice effort, Colt(s).

Image via Shutterstock


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