Playing the percentages doesn’t always work, but it doesn’t make it wrong: New Orleans Saints 1st-and-10

Jeff Duncan, The Times-Picayune

A lot of armchair quarterbacks have second-guessed New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton’s decision to attempt the field goal in overtime against the Atlanta Falcons on first down.

But Payton’s decision was based on the laws of probability.

Since the beginning of the 2001 season, NFL kickers are 231 for 255 on 29-yard field goal attempts in the both regular season and postseason, according to ESPN’s NFL Stats & Information. That’s 90.6 percent.

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