Marques Colston could have stepped out of bounds at the Seahawks' 37 with seven seconds left, thereby giving his trailing team one last chance to get into the end zone. He opted instead -- perhaps because the Saints called for a trick play -- to try to hit a streaking Travaris Cadet on a cross-field lateral.
Not surprisingly, with the Saints' hopes resting on his arm and the wind whipping around CenturyLink Field, Colston misfired badly. His pass made it only about two-thirds of the way across the field and, worst of all, traveled forward about four yards before bouncing on the turf. The play was blown dead at that point, with the incomplete (and illegal) forward pass bringing a 10-second runoff that ended the game.
There's no question that the Saints would have had time left had Colston simply skipped one step to his left out of bounds. He had secured the catch by getting both feet down with possession. The Saints still needed a touchdown and two-point conversion to force overtime, so it was unlikely. But they probably would have appreciated taking a shot at the end zone rather than seeing the clock expire on a doomed lateral attempt ... and a penalty.