Colts/Patriots Notebook: Chuck Pagano Explains Fake Punt Decision

Intro: In the Colts/Patriots Week Six notebook, we take a look at the decision to fake a punt in the third quarter, the interception return for a touchdown from Mike Adams and what the AFC South looks like after six weeks.

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INDIANAPOLIS – One half of success on Sunday night could not carry over for the Colts.

The talk of the second half on Sunday was centered on a third-quarter fake punt try, which turned into a touchdown for New England and the eventual 34-27 victory.

Here's a notebook look at the Colts falling to 3-3 on the season:

Colts Fail On Third-Quarter Fake Punt Attempt

Chuck Pagano said on Sunday night that the Colts wanted to the aggressor.

That was definitely the case.

Pagano's aggression included a third-quarter fake punt attempt that ended up being a critical play, in the wrong way.

Down 27-21 with 1:14 left in the third quarter, the Colts lined up for a punt at their own 37-yard line.

Instead of punting, the Colts shifted into an unusual alignment with (safety) Colt Anderson lined up as a quarterback and (wide receiver) Griff Whalen at center. The other nine Colts on the punt coverage team lined up to the right side of the field.

Anderson then took the snap from Whalen and was stuffed for a one-yard loss, with flags flying.

The Colts were called for an illegal formation. The penalty was declined but the ball was heading back to New England with a short field in front of Tom Brady.

"The punt play, I take responsibility," Pagano said after Sunday's loss.

"The whole idea there was to shift to an alignment where you either catch them misaligned, they try to sub some people in, (or you) catch them with 12 men on the field. And if you get a certain look, you have three yards, two yards to make a play. Again, we shifted over and I didn't do a good enough job coaching it during the week. We weren't lined up correctly and then (there was) a communication breakdown between the quarterback and the snapper. That's all on me…Obviously it played a huge factor in this loss."

Whalen pointed to "miscommunication" and didn't have an answer for why the ball was eventually snapped to Anderson.

Pagano made it clear that he took complete responsibility for a special teams trick that allowed the Patriots to take a 13-point lead late in the third quarter.

Mike Adams Creates Another Score With Interception

Coming into Sunday night, Chuck Pagano said winning the turnover margin was a must.

Well, he can thank Mike Adams for doing his part in achieving that.

The safety proved once again on Sunday night that he seemingly always finds himself around the ball to make a play.

Adams second-quarter interception came off a ball Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman could not handle near the sideline.

After securing the pick in bounds, Adams kept his balance in the playing field and returned the interception 14 yards to give the Colts a second-quarter lead of 14-10.

The interception was Adams' ninth since joining the Colts at the start of last season. No player in the AFC has more interceptions during that time frame.

Unfortunately, for the Colts, a hamstring injury kept Adams sidelined for the entire second half.

Following the 34-27 loss, Adams had no time to hear about the Colts keeping things "closer" in this meeting with New England.

"We lost," Adams stated. "What are you going to say? 'We did this well, we did that well.' We did a lot of things well. We did a lot of things that we can fix that we didn't do well.

"At the end of the day, it is that left hand column that matters and we didn't get it---that win. We need that win.

"I am pretty sure we will see them again."

**Colts Still Lead AFC South By One Game

**Sunday's loss for the Colts will definitely hurt the team in their hopes to fight for homefield advantage in the playoffs.

The defeat also brought the Colts closer to the rest of the AFC South.

At 3-3, the Colts have a one-game lead over the Houston Texans (2-4) through six weeks of the season.

Tennessee (1-4) and Jacksonville (1-5) both suffered losses on Sunday afternoon.

Things won't get any easier for the Colts in their next three contests before a bye week.

The Colts will take on New Orleans (2-4) next Sunday at home, before traveling to Carolina (5-0) and then hosting Denver (6-0).

"We control our own destiny," Chuck Pagano said after Sunday night's loss.

"We can't have a hangover, we've got to move on. We've got a good football team coming to town next week and we've got to get over this one."**

Colts/Patriots Snap Counts**

  • The wide receiver snaps on Sunday night went as followed: T.Y. Hilton (73-of-80), Andre Johnson (67-of-80), Donte Moncrief (59-of-80), Phillip Dorsett (30-of-80) and Griff Whalen (4-of-80).
  • The running back reps were led by Frank Gore (36 of 80). Ahmad Bradshaw played 19 snaps in his 2015 debut with the Colts. Zurlon Tipton also saw 16 snaps of action.
  • Safety Dwight Lowery and cornerback Vontae Davis played all 69 snaps on Sunday night.
  • Battling a groin injury, Jerrell Freeman played 54 of the 69 defensive snaps.
  • Safety Mike Adams (hamstring) exited at halftime (37 snaps). In his place, Colt Anderson played 33 defensive snaps in the second half.
  • Robert Mathis was on the field for 18 snaps on Sunday night.
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