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Gutsy Fake Punt Propels Bolts to Victory

Posted Dec 29, 2013

Eric Weddle's audible into a fake punt proved to be a pivotal play in beating the Kansas City Chiefs.

You can call it one of the gutsiest plays in Chargers history.

The option to call a fake punt had been in the game plan heading into Sunday, with Eric Weddle having the opportunity to audible into it based on the opposition’s front.

Weddle audibled into it on 4th-and-2.

In overtime

From his own 28-yard line.

It was gutsy – but it sure did pay off as he got just enough on a two-yard burst up the middle to keep the chains moving.

“Coach gives me the opportunity to call those things when I see it,” Weddle said.  “I was looking to see the (Chiefs’) look – whether the corners were going to come in at all like they did earlier in the game, and they didn’t.  With that look I felt like we could get two yards as a punt team with me running the ball.  If we are going to go down, let’s go down doing what we do and that’s playing aggressive until the end.  We got just enough.”

The play call wasn’t a surprise to Head Coach Mike McCoy, but when it is called in that kind of situation, it better be executed to perfection.

“We’d had that in our game plan,” said McCoy.  “Thank God it worked out the way it did.  We talked about it and said that if it was there, we were going to take it and it worked out.  I wasn’t too happy when I saw the ball come out… But hey, it worked out in the long run.”

The “ball coming out” that McCoy referred to was the ball coming out after the whistle was blown dead, with the Chiefs running it back into the end zone.  But for Weddle, there never was any doubt that he had the first down and was down.

“Once my helmet came off and the forward progress ended, I knew I was out where I needed to get,” said Weddle. “With all the guys around me, I was just trying to hold onto the ball as they ripped at it.  We got the first down, which is what matters and we kept the momentum, which was huge.”

Antonio Gates has seen some gutsy calls over the year, and this one ranked right up there with the best of them.

“Weddle just being Weddle,” he said.  “My understanding, the look he saw he felt he could take advantage of.  It was one of those calls that were great because he got the first down.  That’s what good players do.  They take chances and I can’t say enough about what kind of player he is.  He was finally voted to the Pro Bowl and I’m excited for him.  I felt he has been a Pro Bowl caliber player for the last four or five years.  Great players find ways to make things happen in games and Weddle was an example of that today.”

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