Patriots’ absurd special teams gaffe shows how far Colts’ rivalry has fallen

The Indianapolis Colts and the New England Patriots have a storied rivalry, but the latest game is showing the current state of both franchises.
Indianapolis Colts v New England Patriots
Indianapolis Colts v New England Patriots / Alex Grimm/GettyImages

The Indianapolis Colts have a storied rivalry with the New England Patriots. In several seasons over the last two decades the Colts and Patriots were two of the best teams in the league, led by two all-time great quarterbacks in Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. However, the mighty have clearly fallen.

Indy and New England both entered the Week 10 matchup in Germany under .500. The Pats 2-7 and the Colts 4-5. In the first half of the game, the records were evident. Amongst the underwhelming first-half of play was a lowlight that left everyone confused.

The Patriots forced Indianapolis to punt the ball, however, when Indy actually punted on fourth down, New England didn’t have a returner back to catch the ball. That allowed Indy to flip the field and led to everyone watching the game to scratch their heads.

Patriots leave fans confused with special teams decision against Colts

It’s possible that New England wanted to fully commit to block the punt, but teams typically still keep a returner back when scheming up a block attempt. Either way, the Pats didn’t block the kick and Indy was able to benefit from a great bounce and roll.

That was the biggest lowlight of a very dull first half. The Patriots scored three points on their opening drive and Indy answered with a touchdown. After that, the teams exchanged punts, making the game look like the football that Europe is used to. New England had 138 total yards and the Colts had 162.

Even at the end of the half, when it seemed like we’d see a fun Hail Mary pass attempt, the Patriots threw a wide receiver screen, disappointing everyone. Hopefully, the two teams will provide Frankfurt with a more entertaining brand of football to close the game.