Sean Payton borrowed Saints’ touchdown play from Bears’ attempt
Sean Payton is regarded as one of the most innovative offensive minds in the NFL, but he’s not above borrowing good ideas he sees elsewhere.
The Saints were nearly burned last Sunday by the Chicago Bears by a trick play that involved Cordarrelle Patterson pitching the ball back to Mitchell Trubisky, who went for the home run ball to receiver Javon Wims. The play worked perfectly, except Wims dropped the pass, saving the Saints from giving up a touchdown.
Payton clearly admired the Bears’ effort. In fact, he liked the play design so much that he put it in his own playbook and used it against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Sunday’s NFC Divisional game. It worked to perfection. Emmanuel Sanders pitched to Jameis Winston, who hooked up with Tre’Quan Smith for a 56-yard touchdown catch that, unlike Wims, was held on to.
This video shows both plays next to each other — the one ran against the Saints last week, and the one the Saints ran themselves Sunday.
Jameis Winston's touchdown was the same play design the Bears ran last week when Javon Wims dropped it. pic.twitter.com/Dv7RU386ZK
— Jordan Heck (@JordanHeckFF) January 18, 2021
It’s safe to say nobody on Tampa Bay’s defense could have seen that coming. When defensive coordinators talk about how much they hate facing Payton, this is probably what they mean.