New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton showed little improvement in game management and play calling on Sunday.
Once again Payton found a way to sabotage his team by poor decisions in crunch time.
The most glaring example has to be in the fourth quarter when the Saints were tied with Tampa bay 20-20. Brees had just completed a pass for a first down with about 2:55 remaining. So conventional wisdom would dictate that you run out the clock and get ready for Overtime.
But, Sean Payton is a very unconventional coach. So, on the net play Drew Brees gets alot of pressure and throws the INT to seal the game for Tampa. Would it not have been wise to run the ball on three downs and punt the ball to put Tampa deep in their own territory?
It is exactly these type of poor decisions that drive Saints fans crazy. If Sean Payton finds it difficult to control himself, then maybe he isn't cut out for play calling. He strikes me as a very impulsive and impatient person when it comes to calling the offensive plays.
Of course, many people would point to the three interceptions that Brees gave up. And rightly so.
You obviously cannot win in this league when you give the ball up. But even a great QB like Brees will crumble under the pressure if you throw the ball 47 times! The Saints only attempted to run 18 times! Brees finished 25 of 47 for 296 yards. He had two TDs and three INTs. With a 60.2 passer rating.
Ofcourse there was lots of blame to go around. The defense was still unable to stop Tampa when it really mattered. Although the defense played hard and did come up with some good plays. And they did manage to hold the Tampa offense to under 300 yards.
Reggie Bush made his big comeback with underwhelming results. On his punt returns he ran backwards again (-16 yards). He wasn't a factor running the ball since well, the Saints don't run the ball.
On a positive note, the Saints kicking game was solid with Hartley and Pakulak having nice games. Hartley had a nice 47 yard field goal in the first quarter to give them a temporary lead. He remains perfect as a Saint. Pakulak also had a booming 70 yard punt.
So in the final analysis, the Saints are playing hard on both sides of the ball but, if Coach Sean Payton continues to be impatient and impulsive with his play selection and game management, the Saints will continue to be mediocre.