FOXBORO, Mass. — The Patriots' fake punt attempt prior to halftime was Patrick Chung's call, according to punter Zoltan Mesko.
The Patriots — who fell to the Jets, 28-21, Sunday in the divisional round of the playoffs — had a fourth-and-4 at their own 38-yard line with 1:14 remaining in the second quarter, and they lined up in a punt formation. Chung made the call on the field because he recognized the Patriots had an eight-on-six advantage with their blocking scheme.
However, Chung fumbled the snap and lost one yard, giving the Jets tremendous field position. Four plays later, Mark Sanchez threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Braylon Edwards, and the Jets snagged a 14-3 lead.
"We trust the decision Patrick makes," Mesko said. "It just didn?t work out in that particular occasion. That?s why the coaches trust him to run it, and that's why they give him the green light, if he has it."
Mesko said the play was implemented in training camp, and it's the first time it was run this season. Chung has the green light from the coaching staff to call for the direct snap by making a signal at the line.
"It would have definitely swung momentum our way if we could have marched down and take the lead into the half," Mesko said.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was asked about the fake punt after the game.
"We just made a bad mistake," said Belichick, who wouldn't add anything else about the play.