Colts' Wayne made the right call

November, 16, 2009
11/16/09
9:00
AM ET
INDIANAPOLIS -- As if rubbing salt in the wounds of New England fans, Indianapolis Colts receiver Reggie Wayne compared his audible on Sunday night's winning touchdown to a certain pitcher for the world champion New York Yankees.

Wayne caught a 1-yard touchdown pass from Peyton Manning with 13 seconds remaining as the Colts shocked the Patriots 35-34 at Lucas Oil Stadium.

"I gave [Manning] my CC Sabathia shake off," joked Wayne. "It was initially a fade route. We had just run the fade and it was unsuccessful. I wanted to do the same thing, show fade and just come with the slant, and it worked."

Matched up with one-on-one coverage with cornerback Jonathan Wilhite on the outside, Wayne took a step toward the outside, faking the fade route as Manning sold it in his drop back, then cut hard inside as Manning delivered a near-perfect ball where only Wayne could catch it.

"I'd been running pretty much takeoffs all game," said Wayne. "I thought that would be an ideal time to change it up. We had just thrown a fade earlier on the drive and it was unsuccessful. I just wanted to do the same thing, but convert the fade into a slant route, and it worked for us."

Manning, well-known for his audibles at the line of scrimmage, gave all the credit to Wayne for the play call.

"Reggie called the last play," said Manning. "We threw a fade route to him earlier and they defended it well. I was going to throw the fade again, but he wanted the slant. It is hard for me to say it was his best catch ever because he has made so many, but it was timely."

Where did it rank for Wayne?

"As far as catchwise, it was just a routine catch," said Wayne. "It was just a slant pass. Peyton did a great job of putting it out front. If I want to go home smiling, I make that catch. If I want to go home upset, I drop it. The catch, it was just routine, but situations and moments, it was up there."

Chris Forsberg

Celtics reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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