Payton made the decision he did because he thought the chances of us:
a.) keeping Atlanta out of the end zone
b.) moving the ball for a game winning FG should Atlanta score a TD
were better than our chances of
a.) converting on 4th down
b.) failing to convert but still stopping Atlanta from kicking a FG
c.) failing to convert, give up a FG to Atl and still win in overtime
d.) fail to convert, give up a TD to Atl, and put together a TD winning drive
I'm telling you that the percentages in both scenario's are very close. Either call is reasonable. Neither call is "wrong".
However, to point to the fact that Atlanta quickly and easily moved the ball inside our 10 yard line with plenty of time to spare as evidence that Payton's decision to kick the FG was a good one is ridiculous. If Atlanta had moved to ball to our 40 with only 5 seconds left and thus would have been in a position to tie the game but instead had to go for a hail mary due to Payton's decision, then your argument would make sense.
I can guarantee you that if the NFL gods had informed Payton that his defense would have been facing 1st and goal with 1 minute remaining on the clock he absolutely without a doubt would have decided to go for it on 4th down. No question.
This is all bull shite.
Payton made the call because it was the safe call.
This post was edited on 9/10 at 11:49 am