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Patriots punter Ryan Allen surrenders a safety after errant snap

Ryan Allen displayed some questionable decision-making following a botched snap. Ryan Allen (center) displayed some questionable decision-making following a botched snap. (Stephan Savoia/AP)

Leave it to the increasingly wild NFL playoffs to turn an innocent midfield punt into a wild safety.

Patriots punter Ryan Allen wound up in a panicked scramble after a snap sailed over his head from the New England 44-yard line. Allen managed to chase the fumble down at his own three, just as a trio of Colts' special teamers arrived. Rather than boot the ball out of the end zone for a safety, Allen turned back into the field of play and tried to throw a short pass to teammate Tavon Wilson.

The decision could have been a catastrophic mistake for the Patriots, except that the ball was knocked from Allen's hand and swatted out of the end zone for a safety. New England then intercepted Andrew Luck after the resulting free kick, thereby limiting the damage.

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Allen apparently suffered a shoulder injury on the play, and the Patriots ruled him questionable to return.
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