The Saints successful onside kick was obviously the game's key play and a gutsy call by coach Sean Payton. What I didn't know until reading the sports page in today's Wall Street Journal is that the surprise onside kick works nearly 60% of the time.
While NFL teams have only been successful in recovering onside kicks in the fourth quarter 14.7% of the time (61 for 416) since 2000, during that same time period onside kicks in the first through third quarters, when it is more of a surprise, have succeeded 58.6% of the time (65 for 111).
"Hey...Dad. Wanna Have A Catch?" Kevin Costner in "Field Of Dreams."
I think someone else mentioned it, but I'll chime in. I've never seen a pileup as intense as that one with the onsides kick. It looked like a pack of hyenas attacking a crippled antelope. If I were the ref, I'd carry a cattle prod to unpile them.
What I think Payton had to weight was the score percentages of giving Manning the ball on their 40 vs the Colts 20.
If Hank Baskett doesn't headbutt the ball, Sean Payton looks like a fool.