Divisional Playoffs - New Orleans Saints v Seattle Seahawks

Trying to understand Payton/Colston’s decision v.s. the Seahawks

It’s been several months since the Saints lost a heartbreaker in Seattle in the playoffs. The reason I bring this up is because I’ve been hearing other Saints fans blast Colston for making that erroneous pass that ran the clock out. It’s not completely Colston’s fault, although he should have better instincts to just step out of bounds and give Brees another chance.

The play was set up, in my mind, to get the defense spread out enough to where a lateral play might work. It didn’t work. The Saints were on their own 49-yard line with 13 seconds left in the game. 3rd down and 2. Brees drops back, escapes a sack, and throws it with 9 ticks left in the game. Marques Colston catches the ball on the near sideline on the 38-yard line and instead of tip-toeing out of bounds, turns and attempts to throw it to Cadet, who’s not even open on the other side of the field (50+ Yard attempt) but it falls short into the dirt. Now, I ask this question: Could it have realistically worked? History and statistics tell us no. However, there was a game in which it did work for the Saints. Many years ago against the Jags, a lateral play was executed perfectly and it could have tied the game for the Saints… if the kicker had made the PAT. The most recent attempt by the Saints to do this was the last time they played the Ravens. Reggie Bush performed an illegal forward pass as well. My advice: let Brees do all the forward passing, okay guys? If you ask me, Colston should have stepped out and let Brees do what Brees does, which is make plays. That is a potential 2 plays that the Saints could have had to try and tie the game up.

ON THE FLIP SIDE, Sean Payton insists that he saw something that could have allowed that play to work. What it is that he saw will forever dumbfound me because I don’t know how you could see something in a defense that would prepare you for a desperate play like the lateral. I imagine part of him saying this was a smokescreen for the media to step in on Colston’s behalf, but one really has to wonder, “Did he really see something?” Nobody will argue that Sean Payton is a great offensive mind, so if he says he saw something, I’m not going to completely discredit it and say that it is false, but it will leave me confused as to what he saw.

Let’s say this play did work and the Saints actually go on to stun the almighty Seahawk defense. That would have left one more game in New Orleans for the NFC Crown. It would have also been a rematch of a VERY controversial game earlier in the season. Saints v. 49ers. Something tells me that the 49ers would have been out for blood in that game. It would have been a tall task to play the Seahawks and then the 49ers in back-to-back weeks like that with such high stakes. Say again that the Saints win that game also. Saints vs. Denver. Again, but only this time; it’s for ALL the marbles. In cold weather, against a team that absolutely embarrassed the Saints in the 2012 season in Denver, which is cold weather. I don’t know if the Saints could have stood up to “The Sherriff” like the Seahawks did, but it sure as hell would have been a good game.

We don’t know what would have happened if the play worked, and we don’t know if the play was designed like that. Everyone blasts Colston for a mistake that may or may not have even been his. It could have been Sean Payton telling him to do that, which would put HIM in the wrong. We don’t know that. All we can hope for is a better 2014 season that looms ahead of us and hope that it results in another party with the Lombardi in February of 2015.

Andrew Doyle

About Andrew Doyle

Mississippi State University ---> Washington State University.

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