Let the second-guessing begin.
NFL head coaches make all sorts of key calls, and many are subject to questioning - and there was plenty of talk-radio fodder on this Sunday.
Perhaps the most shocking choice was Payton's fake punt, although this is a guy, let's remember, who used an onside kick right after halftime en route to a Super Bowl victory. With about 7 minutes left, and New Orleans facing fourth-and-9 from its 41 while trailing Dallas by two touchdowns, the Saints sent out the punting unit. Except instead of kicking the ball, the Saints tried some trickery, with punter Thomas Morstead hoping to pass before winding up tackled for a 2-yard loss.
''My question is: Game's on the line, who do you want throwing that pass? You want Drew Brees? (Or) you want Thomas Morstead?'' former NFL receiver Cris Collinsworth said on NBC's broadcast of Dallas' 38-17 victory that left New Orleans with a 1-3 record.
In case you missed it, here are the other top topics after the NFL season's fourth Sunday:
TWO UNBEATENS: With Philadelphia's 26-21 loss at San Francisco after Kelly's overthinking with his playcalling, only two unbeaten teams are left, Cincinnati and Arizona. Both are 3-0 because they had byes this week, and both face what could be tough road tests against marquee quarterbacks next week. The Bengals are at Tom Brady's Patriots, while the Cardinals are at Peyton Manning's Broncos.
GENO'S MOUTH: Jets QB Smith had an interception and a fumble on consecutive possessions in a 24-17 loss to the Lions - and he also lobbed an expletive toward a spectator after a home game during which there were chants of ''We want Vick!'' But Ryan isn't switching to Michael Vick. Not yet, anyway, even if New York is 1-3, with a rough one coming up against San Diego.
TOMLIN'S ANGRY: Steelers coach Mike Tomlin called it ''inexcusable,'' ''unacceptable'' and ''ridiculous'' that his team would draw 13 penalties for 125 yards in a 27-24 loss to previously winless - and seemingly incompetent - Tampa Bay. Pittsburgh flags included six personal fouls.
PLAY OF THE DAY: So maybe the Panthers should have kept Steve Smith? The 35-year-old Ravens receiver made his former team look foolish for letting him go this offseason, making seven catches for 139 yards and a pair of scores in Baltimore's 38-10 victory over Carolina - including a 61-yard TD when he grabbed the ball in stride after it deflected off the right hand of a teammate.
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