NEW ORLEANS – History will tell us for sure, but I think we might have just seen a coming-out moment in Sean Payton’s ascendancy as a head coach.
Under the brightest of lights, he just went for it on fourth down against Bill Belichick, who already has gone for it on fourth down twice (and succeeded both times) tonight, and I seem to recall Belichick going for it on fourth down a few other times in recent weeks.
Anyway, Payton’s moved paid off in a big way. On that fourth-and-2 from New England’s 21-yard line, Pierre Thomas produced a 3-yard run.
On the next play, Thomas took a screen pass from Drew Brees and scored. That’s a lot better than settling for a field goal to give New Orleans a 10-7 lead.
I wouldn’t recommend going for it on fourth down all the time, but Payton showed he can do it too.