It was one of the more peculiar endings to a play-off game that you will ever see - but now New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton has admitted it was a preconceived idea to try a cross-field lateral in the dying seconds of their divisional round play-off defeat against the Seattle Seahawks on Saturday.
The Saints looked to be down and out after Marshawn Lynch crossed the line in the 4th quarter to make it 23-8 to the Seahawks.
However they mounted a last-minute charge to narrow the score to 23-15 with less than 30 seconds left - and after regaining possession with an onside kick, tried to work their way up field with time running out and no timeouts left.
With under 10 seconds left quarterback Drew Brees found Marques Colston, who instead of running the ball out for one last roll of the dice, tried a lateral pass across the field.
Unfortunately Colston couldn't guide his pass backwards and so was deemed illegal, which cost the Saints a 10-second time penalty and the game.
Payton was quick to dodge questions about the pass immediately after the game which prompted some to suggest Colston had made the decision to attempt the risky play on his own.
However, now the Saints coach has admitted it was a pre-planned idea which his team and practiced just a week before.
"We'd kind of seen something on tape, Marques has got a pretty good arm," he explained.
"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. ... So, yeah, he wasn't freelancing."
The Seahawks now take on the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Conference Championship game.
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