Fake Punt Leading By 30
The coach apologized for his actions afterwards and explained that the fake punt leading by 30 was an automatic call based on the formation the Bills were in.
“We looked for it every time we were going to punt, and it was just there,” Carroll said. per the Seattle Times. “I should have stopped it in the sense that it looked bad.”
“It was an automatic for us and I didn’t do it,” Carroll continued, per seattlepi.com. “It just happened – we’re trying to make first downs and (I) let it go … It’s unfortunate that it comes across like we’re doing something wrong there. That’s my fault, totally, for not stopping it from happening.”
Indeed, the coach is facing heat from those who felt that running a gadget play with such a big lead was a clear case of poor sportsmanship. The criticism for running a fake punt while leading by 30 is particularly ironic considering Carroll’s past. As Yahoo! Sports notes, Carroll previously complained about then-Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh going for two with a big lead against Carroll’s USC Trojans team.
At least one member of the Buffalo Bills was not happy about the Seahawks going for a fake punt when leading by 30.
“You guys can draw your own opinions from that,” Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick told reporters, according to CBS Sports. “I just do not know if that is really my style.”
CBS Sports also notes that San Francisco 49ers owner Jed York made an interesting point on his Twitter page after his squad beat the New England Patriots on Sunday night. The 49ers blew a 31-3 lead in the second half, but San Francisco still held on for the win.
“Big props to #12 [Patriots quarterback Tom Brady],” York wrote. “That’s why we play 60 min. If anyone complains about a team running up the score, remember tonight.”
While it was unlikely that a Buffalo Bills squad that has struggled for much of the year would have made a similar comeback, it is true that anything can happen in the NFL. Pete Carroll denied that his decision to run a fake punt leading by 30 points was a case of running up the score. But even if the fake punt call was not “automatic,” the case could be made that he was simply trying to ensure a key Seahawks victory.