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Defending Sean Payton: Fake field goal was the right call

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; I guess I am too old school. But when you have the opportunity to make it a TD game instead of FG game. You do it. Of course, I don't coach an NFL team. Especially an undefeated NFL team....

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Old 12-14-2009, 08:18 AM   #11
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I guess I am too old school. But when you have the opportunity to make it a TD game instead of FG game. You do it. Of course, I don't coach an NFL team. Especially an undefeated NFL team.
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Old 12-14-2009, 11:13 AM   #12
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Defending Sean Peyton: Fake Field Goal Was Right Call

Contrary to what you may hear and read everywhere else, New Orleans coach Sean Payton did not lose his mind when he ordered a fake field goal late in the fourth quarter against the Atlanta Falcons.

Yes, the fourth-and-7 play failed miserably after holder/quarterback Mark Brunell held the ball too long. Sure, Payton would have been roasted if the Saints had blown their perfect (13-0 and counting) season, with references to him reverting back to the immature risk-taker who cost his team games the past two years.

That criticism would have been dead wrong. He made the right call.

Ahead 26-23 and at the Atlanta 15 with 2:14 left, the Saints could have virtually put the game away with a first down or a touchdown. The way their broken-down defense was playing, a six-point lead would have been anything but safe.

This one had 30-29 written all over it.

The Falcons had gone 80 yards in five plays for a touchdown on their opening second-half series and 79 yards for a TD in 11 plays on their next drive. They had scored on five of their six possessions before Jonathan Vilma’s interception a few plays earlier. The lone exception came after a Chris Redman pass glanced off the fingertips of wide receiver Michael Jenkins when he was 10 yards behind the Saints secondary for a sure 69-yard touchdown.

Psychologically, a 3-point advantage probably was better than 6.

Say what? No, seriously.

Trailing by 6, the Falcons would have been more aggressive on their final drive knowing they had to score a touchdown. With two timeouts and two minutes left, they would have had plenty of time to get to the end zone.

Knowing they needed only a field goal to send the game to overtime, the Falcons were more conservative. They did not take a deep shot on any of the nine plays of their final possession. The Saints, meanwhile, knew they had to stay aggressive to prevent the Falcons from getting in field-goal range. Maybe Vilma would not have come up as quickly to stone receiver Jason Snelling on fourth-and-2 near midfield if Atlanta needed a touchdown.

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Old 12-14-2009, 03:17 PM   #13
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Re: Defending Sean Payton: Fake field goal was the right call

Originally Posted by frankeefrank View Post
This makes no sense...
The Falcons were 6-6.
They need to win.
They should have been looking for 6 regardless of if the Sainst made the field goal attempt.
They needed to win not send it into overtime.
Logically, you're right. But that's not the way most teams play. A backup quarterback who had just thrown a terrible interception on the previous possession will be a little skittish. If Redman directs the Falcons to a field goal, he gets hailed for doing everything he could to give the Falcons a chance to win, and even if they lose in overtime, he maybe earns himself a contract with another team with a chance to compete for a starting job next year.

If they're down six, he knows he has to go for a touchdown to cement that opportunity.

I understand why most people would think the fake field goal was crazy, but I still think it was the right thing to do.
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Old 12-14-2009, 04:03 PM   #14
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Re: Defending Sean Payton: Fake field goal was the right call

Originally Posted by ScottF View Post
Bad call, just a bad call.

IF you are planning on going on 4th, then you have to have a strategy for the whole series. There's 2:23 to go, second and 7. Two incomplete passes take no time or timeouts off the clock, and we don't even get to the 2 minute warning.

Think how different even 1 running play would have been. More time, plus a time out. Not to mention we ran better in the second half.

I have no problem with going for it and leaving the ball inside the 20 with 2 minutes to go. I'd just rather see guys like Brees, Colston, PT and Bush on the field, not Brunnell and Dinkins.
There would have been the same amount of time left on the clock if the Saints had run the ball. Atlanta would have had one fewer timeout, but with the 2-minute warning still to come, there still would have been plenty of time.

As for keeping Brees and the offense on the field, I understand the logic, but Payton really thought the fake field goal would work. Plus, going for on fourth down would have been a more obvious slap in the face to Hartley and the defense. When the fake didn't work, Payton could talk about the Falcons' special teams unit giving him a look he thought could exploit on film and say it had nothing to do with a lack of confidence in his kicker and defense.
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Old 12-14-2009, 05:13 PM   #15
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Re: Defending Sean Payton: Fake field goal was the right call

... seriously, man. Stop. That was a BAD call. No amount of over-rationalization is going to change that.

Originally Posted by from article
Psychologically, a 3-point advantage probably was better than 6.

Say what? No, seriously.

Trailing by 6, the Falcons would have been more aggressive on their final drive knowing they had to score a touchdown. With two timeouts and two minutes left, they would have had plenty of time to get to the end zone.
railing by 6, the Falcons would have been more aggressive on their final drive knowing they had to score a touchdown. With two timeouts and two minutes left, they would have had plenty of time to get to the end zone.

Knowing they needed only a field goal to send the game to overtime, the Falcons were more conservative. They did not take a deep shot on any of the nine plays of their final possession. The Saints, meanwhile, knew they had to stay aggressive to prevent the Falcons from getting in field-goal range. Maybe Vilma would not have come up as quickly to stone receiver Jason Snelling on fourth-and-2 near midfield if Atlanta needed a touchdown.
That right there... you are kidding, right?

I have NO idea what the Falcons where actually thinking, but I can GUARANTEE you, the last thing the Falcons wanted to do is go into overtime and take the chance that Brees was going to get the ball back. With 2 time outs and the 2 minute warning, 2+ minutes to go, and the ball in their possession, I GUARANTEE you the Falcons wanted to win that game right there and then.
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Old 12-14-2009, 05:29 PM   #16
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Re: Defending Sean Payton: Fake field goal was the right call

After careful consideration, this call wasn't about winning the Falcons game. It was about putting doubt in future opponents' heads about going after kicks. You now have to respect the fact that a guy who's been in playoff games is taking snaps and has practiced hitting receivers out of that set. Smart move.
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Old 12-14-2009, 05:41 PM   #17
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Re: Defending Sean Payton: Fake field goal was the right call

I am with you XAN!

Besides if you look at that play closely I wouldn't be surprised if that kick was blocked.

Going forward teams are going to have to respect that we will think faking it reguardless if we made it or not. Who wants to get burned on a FG attempt fake.

This play call is a TOTAL set up. Lets face if it Payton really wanted to be sure we go for it and get it he'll leave Brees and company in there.
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Old 12-14-2009, 05:44 PM   #18
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Re: Defending Sean Payton: Fake field goal was the right call

Horrible call. Gay and Vilma saved Payton from a roasting and he knows it.
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Old 12-14-2009, 05:47 PM   #19
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Re: Defending Sean Payton: Fake field goal was the right call

I have no problem with going for it on 4th down there, but if your going for the TD or first down to end it, then have your best player, Brees, go in and run a play. What you don't do is have your highly immobile broken down backup QB who hasn't thrown a meanigful pass this decade try and roll out and and hit your starting guard with a post pattern.
The call was absolutely absurd.
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Old 12-14-2009, 05:52 PM   #20
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Re: Defending Sean Payton: Fake field goal was the right call

And what if we got 3 more points and gone up 29 to 23...

did our defense stop them all day?

Were we ever going to stop them?

Do we depend on a miracle week to week, in this case the defensive starters showing up?

Vilma and Gay are GODZ for their play but a lot of starters on defense totally underperformed all day long.

Had we scored a field goal and Atlanta came back and scored a touchdown we would have been toast. Am I wrong here?

Just trying to think this out. I agree with what everybody is saying on both sides.

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2009 season, atlanta falcons, guerry smith, mark brunell, new orleans saints, sean peyton

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