Marques Colston lateral was a designed play

Jeff Gross

The final play of the Saints' season was not improvised.

The forward pass that ended the Saints' playoff run against the Seahawks was a called play by head coach Sean Payton, according to ESPN's Mike Triplett. Wide receiver Marques Colston was supposed to lateral the ball to running back Travaris Cadet, but instead threw the ball forward, which ended the game with an illegal forward pass penalty.

The Saints did not have any timeouts left and were on their own 49-yard line with 11 seconds remaining. Colston caught a pass from quarterback Drew Brees, ran up the field a few yards and faked like he was about to go out of bounds with three seconds left in the game. Instead, Colston threw the ball across the field in an obvious forward motion. Since he was past the line of scrimmage, the penalty was called and a 10-second runoff was imposed. This call ended the game.

While Colston failed in his execution of the play, he did acknowledge that he had been prepared for the play after testing it in practice:

"It's a play that we worked on," Colston said. "Obviously, it's not an ideal situation (being behind with time expiring and no timeouts), but the ball came out. And obviously the throw didn't go the way I would have planned. But, it happens."

The Seahawks won the game 23-15, so even if the Saints had scored on the play, they would have had to complete a two-point conversion to tie the game and send it to overtime.

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