Pete Carroll regrets fake punt

Updated: December 17, 2012, 3:21 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said he regrets allowing his team to attempt a fake punt while they had a 30-point lead in the fourth quarter of Sunday's game against the Buffalo Bills.

Carroll claimed that he did not call for the fake punt, stating that the play was part of the Seahawks' original game plan.

"I feel bad about this," Carroll said after the Seahawks' 50-17 thrashing of the Bills in Toronto. "It was part of our game plan. It was something I could have called off and didn't."

Seattle owned a 47-17 lead with 12:49 remaining and faced a fourth-and-4 at the Buffalo 43 when Chris Maragos, an upback in the Seahawks' punt formation, took a direct snap and handed the ball to fullback Michael Robinson, who ran for 29 yards.

Carroll said that the Seahawks had prepared to fake a punt if the Bills came out in a specific formation on punt coverage.

"It was an automatic for us," he said. "We looked for it every time we were going to punt, and it was just there."

The fake punt came one week after the Seahawks, while holding a 50-0 lead over the Arizona Cardinals, threw a pass into the end zone on fourth-and-23 rather than punting late in the fourth quarter. Carroll claimed that he opted against punting on the play because he wanted seldom-used backup quarterback Matt Flynn to attempt throws in a game situation.

Carroll admitted that the timing of the fake punt against the Bills "looked bad."

"It's unfortunate that it comes across like there's something wrong there," he said. "That's my fault, totally, for not stopping it from happening."

Bills coach Chan Gailey would not comment on the fake punt after the game.

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