The Patriots led the Colts 31-28 with just 31 seconds when Tom Brady and the offense took the field to take a knee and end the game. All was well — or at least it seemed that way until Brady began screaming at the Colts' defensive line and the officials.
It was a bit puzzling, considering the Patriots were just seconds away from completing a huge victory over the Colts, but on Monday morning, Brady explained what had him so fired up.
During his weekly radio interview on The Dennis and Callahan Show on WEEI, Brady said that the Colts were trying to simulate a snap count to goad the Patriots into a false start penalty. Doing so would have stopped the clock, which is something the Colts desperately needed in order to have a chance to get the ball back.
"I'm in the middle of my snap count, and the defensive tackle's going, 'Hut, hut,' to try to get us to jump offsides," Brady said on Dennis and Callahan. "To me, the only thing that the ref should be listening for is that. [The Colts are] doing it, and they can't do that. So, I was just creating some awareness for the referees [of] what they were doing. It's not that [the officials] care or listen to me. They really don't. I don't know, it just gives me something to bitch at a little bit."
The Colts were forced to use that tactic because they had to use a timeout earlier in the fourth quarter, after receiver Reggie Wayne was attended to by trainers following an incompletion. Rather than have Wayne sit out a play, the Colts took their first timeout, allowing him to return without missing any time.
It paid off in the short term, as Wayne gained 15 yards on a third-and-6 the very next play. In the long term, though, it came back to bite the Colts, who had just two timeouts after James Sanders intercepted Peyton Manning's pass with 31 seconds left in the game.