Marques Colston may not have been acting on his own Saturday in the final play of the Saints season. Several factors point to the play possibly being by design. Whether he did or didn't, his over the top criticism is way off base.

First things first, let's analyze the play. Watch it below. (Fast Forward to 1:33 mark)

Do you notice who is in the backfield with Drew Brees at running back? It's Travaris Cadet. Did you notice what Cadet was doing? He's waiting for Brees to throw to the right sideline, then darts up the left sideline. If the play was simply designed for a throw to the sideline and a step out of bounds, why is Cadet darting to the other side of the field?

Colston is a Hofstra graduate, and during his illustrious 8 year career, has he ever made a bone-headed decision? Do you ever recall Colston not making the "smart football" play? I've watched every Saints game in the last 8 years, and aside from being the epitome of class, Colston is not one to make a dumb football play. Obviously he meant to lateral, and not throw it forward. I believe it was a designed play, albeit not a good one.

Millions of Americans and even Saints "fans" took to social media and began calling him dumb, stupid, idiotic, wanna-be hero, and a bevy of other negative words.

Here are a few of the typical responses on twitter.


If anyone that calls themselves a Saints fan hates Marques Colston, they need to go pledge their allegiance elsewhere. 11 catches, 144 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 onside kick recovery, 1 unfortunate forward pass. On a day when the Saints were struggling to get out of their own way, I'll take his stat line over anyone else on the team.

Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Don't agree with me that it was a called play? Let's analyze Cadet's involvement a bit more. He received most of his playing time on special teams. In terms of offensive snaps, Cadet only had 13 all season (including the playoffs), and 5 of those 13 came in mop up duty during the Dallas game. With only 13 seconds left in a playoff game, why would New Orleans have the least experienced running back (in terms of playing time) on the field? The most likely answer is because the play was called for him.

Rewind to the Wild Card win over Philadelphia. Cadet was on the field for one offensive play. It went for an incomplete pass, but the Saints were attempting to sneak him out the backfield for a pass play to the end zone. An Eagle linebacker threw him back at the line of scrimmage, breaking up the play. On Saturday, prior to the final play, Cadet had one offensive snap. Where the ball designed to go on that play? Cadet. He dropped a screen pass (and possibly the only one that was set up nicely all afternoon).

Cadet has explosiveness, which is why on the rare occasion that he's on the field for an offensive play, the ball is typically designed to go to him.

Suppose I'm wrong. Suppose it wasn't a called play (despite all the evidence to suggest it was). Suppose a smart, 8 year veteran, and the leading receiver in franchise history just decided on his own that he was going to turn around and try to start throwing the ball all over the field. Even if that is the case, the Saints "fans" that are making silly t-shirts, slogans, memes, and anything else that puts down Colston, need to pipe down.

Marques Colston has been all class for the franchise, on and off the field. Don't try to paint him into something he's not.

UPDATE: Head coach Sean Payton met with the press today, acknowledging that it was a designed play that didn't go as planned. No surprise here.

Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images