Soon after Drew Brees was intercepted by Falcons linebacker Deion Jones, the New Orleans Saints nonetheless had an opportunity to force an Atlanta punt and get one final chance to chase a game-tying field goal.
That chance evaporated when head coach Sean Payton sprinted on the field toward the official and was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct. The penalty offered the Falcons the main one primary down they needed to run out clock and seal the 20-17 victory.
Payton said he’d had a sufficient amount of after 10 previous penalties were called against his staff during the game.
“I called a period out and he asked me again and We said ‘I’ve previously called the time out.’ Probably explained it with a little more oomph or vigor than I was likely to (but) I had enough. I got to be smarter than that.”
The Saints had called their second timeout after a first down carry by Devonta Freeman and Payton was attempting to call the team’s final timeout after Freeman fumbled on second down with Atlanta retaining possession. He billed onto the field in direction of the official when the flag was thrown and costing the Saints 15 yards and their last prospect to win the overall game.
“I thought we fought lots of things beyond just the football video game,” Payton explained in his opening feedback before discussing the penalty.
“Just one of those games,” he said. “Pay attention, I’ve by no means seen anything like it. I’ve by no means been part of a video game like that. Frustrating, but our men, we’ll bounce back.”