The Saints-Falcons game on Thursday night, which resulted in NFL looking at Sean Payton's behavior toward the referees in the game, according to NFL Media., featured a LOT of action down the homestretch. At least some of the action is going to result in the
The action at the end of the game actually kicked off with Dan Quinn deciding not to accept a penalty on the Saints for holding on a 3rd-and-1 well within field-goal range. The idea was he would decline, Sean Payton would kick and then the Falcons would get a chance to win the game. Payton wasn't having it and went for the fourth down and short, which the Saints picked up easily (duh).
Drew Brees, who is he believes it creates, threw a bad pass into the end zone and that's when the wheels sort of came off for the Saints.
After that,he drew an unsportsmanlike penalty for running too far on the field to demand a timeout. The refs ran off the clock and the Saints lost -- they were probably going to lose anyway, but .
After the game, Payton admitted he was probably a little too enthusiastic about the timeout.
"I called a timeout, and then he asked me again, and I said, 'I've already called the timeout.' I probably said it with a little more oomph or vigor than I was supposed to, but I had enough. I gotta be smarter than that," Payton said.
Then things got even weirder with Payton and head ref Clete Blakeman. As Blakeman was jogging off the field, he got, for lack of a better word, tripped up by something. He turned around and HELLO SEAN PAYTON. The Saints coach must have either a) accidentally given him a flat tire/crossed feet with him or b) decided to send one of those weird messages that can only be sent by tripping up someone in a very-close-to-accidental-looking fashion.
To be clear here: I am NOT accusing Sean Payton of purposely tripping Clete Blakeman. But there are plenty of people out there who are at least sort of wondering if his run-in with Blakeman was accidental or not.
Blakeman, for his part, looked back at Payton roughly three or four times as if to say "bro, you serious?" or something along the lines.
And none of this takes into account the bizarre decision by Payton to grab his neck and scream "CHOKE!" in an action that appeared to be directed toward Devonta Freeman.
The whole game was a wild, intense ride for both teams -- and anyone watching -- that perfectly encapsulates the fierce NFC South race that's going to go down this year.
In the end it might cost Payton some money for all the shenanigans that went down.