This time, the Indianapolis Colts’ unusual-looking punt formation fooled nobody.

And when the ill-advised fake punt backfired late in the third quarter, Tom Brady got the ball back at the Colts 35-yard line. Six plays later he threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to LeGarrette Blount to seal a 34-27 Patriots victory.

“It turned out to be one of the worst failed fakes probably of all time,” Colts punter Pat McAfee conceded.

Actually, the play was put in during practice last season and pulled out of the playbook at exactly the wrong time – with New England clinging to a 27-21 lead.

The Colts (3-3) shifted most of their players near the right sideline. Colts Coach Chuck Pagano was hoping to draw the Patriots into a mistake. Instead, receiver Griff Whalen inexplicably snapped the ball to safety Colt Anderson, who was immediately tackled for a 1-yard loss.

The bizarre play overshadowed everything else in one of this season’s most hyped games – the rematch of January’s AFC championship game, which spawned the “Deflategate” controversy.

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