Mike Triplett | ESPN.com
METAIRIE, La. — New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton and wide receiver Marques Colston both clarified Monday that the ill-fated forward pass that ended Saturday’s 23-15 loss to the Seattle Seahawks was, in fact, a designed play that went awry.
It was supposed to be a lateral across the field to running back Travaris Cadet — a play the Saints had added to their playbook a week earlier. But Colston admittedly struggled with the execution by throwing the ball forward.
And Payton admitted that the Saints probably called the play earlier than needed, with 11 seconds remaining and New Orleans on its own 49-yard line. But he said with no timeouts left, the Saints went with it.
Obviously that play wasn’t the reason the Saints lost on Saturday. But it became a hot-button topic afterward since it was such an unorthodox finish that squandered away the possibility of one last prayer.
“We’re probably maybe a play early from [needing to call] it, but with no timeouts … ” Payton said. “We’d kind of seen something on tape, Marques has got a pretty good arm. You know, hindsight, [it was] a play where he could have caught it, stepped out and then maybe [we throw] a Hail Mary to the end zone. But it was a play we had put in a week and a half ago, prior to this game, which was a deep throw to Marques and then across the field to Cadet. So, yeah, he wasn’t freelancing.”
“It’s a play that we worked on,” Colston said. “Obviously, it’s not an ideal situation (being behind with time expiring and no timeouts), but the ball came out. And obviously the throw didn’t go the way I would have planned. But, it happens.”
- Covered Saints for eight years at New Orleans Times-Picayune
- Previously covered LSU football, San Francisco 49ers
- Iowa native and University of Iowa graduate