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Defending Sean Payton: Fake field goal was the right call

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; 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 ...

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Old 12-13-2009, 09:41 PM   #1
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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.

Other considerations:

If the Saints had converted the field goal, the Falcons might not have needed to go much farther to score a go-ahead touchdown than they would have for a tying field goal. Starting at their 15, they needed about 50 yards to get in reasonable range for kicker Matt Bryant. They had returned the Saints’ last kickoff to their own 36. That’s a potential 14-yard difference.

If Garrett Hartley had missed the field goal – a distinct possibility considering he clanged an extra point off the upright – the Falcons would have taken over at their 23, eight yards better than where they got the ball.

Atlanta, which did not score last Sunday against Philadelphia until the final play, went up and down the field against New Orleans. Redman, starting for the second straight week in place of injured Matt Ryan, threw for 303 yards. The Saints sacked him only once, and defensive coordinator Gregg Williams’ blitzes produced almost no pressure.

Payton did not trust his defense or his kicker enough to settle for the conventional play.

Given the evidence of the first 57:46, would you?

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Old 12-13-2009, 10:00 PM   #2
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Re: Defending Sean Payton: Fake field goal was the right call

garret hartley has missed only one field goal as a saint and it was a 50+ yarder at the end of regulation against the redskins

his PAT was a little iffy but that shouldnt deter a coach from letting him kick the field goal late in the game

the real blame should fall on john carney who has created a lot of doubt in the kicking game.....a lot of doubt that doesnt make sense since he was replaced

garret hartley is a good kicker and is very clutch as far as we are concerned

he is the most accurate and consistant kicker we have had in a long time.....there is absolutely no reason not to trust him except for the reason i pointed out earlier.....john carney

"deal with it or you can go play the saints and get trounced by 30 and you won't have to worry about it."-colin cowherd
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Old 12-13-2009, 10:06 PM   #3
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Re: Defending Sean Payton: Fake field goal was the right call

I agree with you, QBrees. In fact, I said out loud prior to the snap, "Fake field goal." It didn't work, but then again, it did.
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Old 12-13-2009, 10:43 PM   #4
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Re: Defending Sean Payton: Fake field goal was the right call

... just say no to blogs
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Old 12-13-2009, 10:54 PM   #5
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Re: Defending Sean Payton: Fake field goal was the right call

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.
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Old 12-13-2009, 11:28 PM   #6
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Re: Defending Sean Payton: Fake field goal was the right call

I was surprised at the fake but I guess he thought they could catch the Falcons off guard. It didn't seem they did.
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Old 12-14-2009, 02:17 AM   #7
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Re: Defending Sean Payton: Fake field goal was the right call

Originally Posted by CantonLegend View Post
garret hartley has missed only one field goal as a saint and it was a 50+ yarder at the end of regulation against the redskins

his PAT was a little iffy but that shouldnt deter a coach from letting him kick the field goal late in the game

the real blame should fall on john carney who has created a lot of doubt in the kicking game.....a lot of doubt that doesnt make sense since he was replaced

garret hartley is a good kicker and is very clutch as far as we are concerned

he is the most accurate and consistant kicker we have had in a long time.....there is absolutely no reason not to trust him except for the reason i pointed out earlier.....john carney
I don't agree. I doubted Hartleyon his own merits yesterday. Missing an EP will do hat for you. I think the fake was the right call. Tha screen to Thomas on 3rd and long however was stupid. If I can call that on my couch at home then so can the Falcons.
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Old 12-14-2009, 07:45 AM   #8
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Re: Defending Sean Payton: Fake field goal was the right call

im sorry i like sean payton as coach, i think he's a great head coach but that call was suspect! it could have cost us a game. also there was one down the stretch when he called a pass play on 3rd and 1! that's what running backs are for. this aint madden 2010! there are no do-overs! stupid plays like that could have easily cost us the win!
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Old 12-14-2009, 08:04 AM   #9
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Re: Defending Sean Payton: Fake field goal was the right call

Had the fake been executed well, it would have been a first down.

I don't think there was doubt in Hartley - We all know SP will make a call like this just so he can control the game.

Our defense has been opportunistic all season and I was confident Gregg would get pressure and force a turnover.
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Old 12-14-2009, 08:07 AM   #10
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Re: Defending Sean Payton: Fake field goal was the right call

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

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