Sean Payton feels analytics have 'educated' him, but regrets fourth-and-goal decision to go for it
The Saints failed from the one yard line and ultimately lost by three
Sean Payton has proven time and time again how aggressive he can be as a coach. He went for it on four separate fourth downs in one drive against the Baltimore Ravens earlier this year. However, there's one he wishes he had back: the Saints' fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line against the Cowboys in their 13-10 loss last Thursday.
"I do think that's where analytics have changed in a positive way," Payton said on his aggressive coaching, particularly this season, via Pro Football Talk. "I think we're more educated."
However, not all fourth down attempts are made equal.
"I kick myself for two or three different situations in [the Cowboys] game, not handling them the right way," he said. "We have an opportunity to score, it's fourth-and-1, I know our fourth down numbers are good. I felt like we had a good plan, and yet, in that game? Kick the field goal."
Obviously it's not as simple as saying "the Saints lost by three, so it was the wrong call." There's a butterfly effect that comes into play if the Saints do kick it, but Payton wasn't wrong about points being at a premium.
"The numbers are important," he continued, per PFT. "But how do we feel like, with our play inventory, at that point in the game? So if I'm inside the 5-yard line, and I've got a section of two-point plays, and let's say I love two of these. I love them. Certainly if I love this play I want to score six with it. So if I love this play for two, I might wait until the second half."
The play the Saints failed on was a dive to Alvin Kamara out of the shotgun. It never had a chance.
The Saints are 10-2 heading into a game against the Buccaneers, the only team besides the Cowboys to beat them this year (back in Week 1). You can stream that game on fuboTV (Try for free). Before Thursday, the Saints hadn't been held to fewer than 21 points all season, so expect to see the team try to bounce back in a big way.
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