<
>

Saints' Sean Payton: Fourth-and-20 blitz was 'my call'

"This is a younger team, and we want to win these games," Sean Payton said. "I’m still mad that we didn’t win." Patrick Semansky/AP

Had this been a "real" game, the only thing we’d be talking about right now is how the New Orleans Saints defense managed to blow a four-point lead with 45 seconds remaining on fourth-and-20.

It became a bit of an afterthought following the Saints’ 30-27 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, since both teams were mostly down to their backups’ backups at the time. But it was still fresh on coach Sean Payton’s mind when he took the blame for the decision to send an all-out blitz on the play.

"Fourth down and 20, that was my call, we blitzed 'em," Payton said. "Obviously they were able to make a play and continue the drive."

The Saints sent eight pass-rushers on the play -- which wasn’t enough against the Ravens' seven blockers. Quarterback Bryn Renner had plenty of time to dump off a short pass to wide-open tight end Maxx Williams, whom no one covered out of the backfield. Saints outside linebacker Kasim Edebali let Williams go as he flew toward the QB.

To make matters worse, Saints defensive backs Travis Manning and Pierre Warren both missed tackles at the end of the play, bouncing off Williams as he rumbled 22 yards for the first down.

Wins and losses don’t really matter in the preseason -- but losing in the sloppy fashion that the Saints did on Thursday night still chaps coaches like Payton.

"This is a younger team, and we want to win these games," Payton said. "I’m still mad that we didn’t win."