Sean Payton’s 4th and 1 fake punt sneak with backup QB Taysom Hill while trailing the Eagles 14-0 in the second quarter of their Divisional Round matchup flipped the momentum when New Orleans was on the ropes, and the call was based on a lot more than hunch.
It turns out the Saints had discovered a tendency on film in several games when Philly went to their “punt safe” coverage where Fletcher Cox was basically going through the motions. When Sean Payton saw the same look last Sunday, he gave the green light on the game-changing play.
NFL Films broke down the tape of Cox dogging it in the same look during Philly’s Wild Card win over the Bears, and if you like x’s and o’s, this clip shows the film study that led to the call.
The NFL is a game of inches and preparation. This play is the perfect example of both leading to a huge W.
Never take plays off.
On one of the biggest plays of the game, the Saints WANTED to run a fake punt into the Eagles *regular defense* because they knew Fletcher Cox was going to play passively from film study. They ran right at him & converted the 1st down. pic.twitter.com/DhlWD8Yt9Q
— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) January 17, 2019