New Orleans Saints wide receiver Marques Colston has had an amazing career for a seventh round pick, who played his collegiate games for Division III Hofstra University, a school which no longer has a football program.
Colston started for the Saints right away as his 6-foot-4, 225 pound frame and strong hands made his transition from small school football to the NFL much easier. In his eight-year career, Colston has only had less than 1,000 receiving yards twice and has never had less than five touchdowns in a season. Colston was also a key part of the Saints’ victory in Super Bowl XLIV.
Colston has become the Saints’ all-time leading receiver in his eight years in New Orleans, but his legacy may be tarnished after one bone-head move in last Saturday’s playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks. Colston, much like Leon Lett, may always be remembered for one huge mistake.
After the Seahawks’ Marshawn Lynch scored his second touchdown of the day with 2:48 on the clock to put the Seahawks up 23-8, Drew Brees led the Saints down the field and threw a touchdown to Colston with 32 seconds left. Colston then put an exclamation point on his 11 reception, 144-yard receiving day by recovering the ensuing onside kick.
That exclamation point then turned into a question mark. After a completion over the middle and a spike, the Saints had 11 seconds to go 51 yards. On the next play, Brees threw a pass to Colston again, and this is when things went unbelievably wrong.
After catching the ball at the Seahawks’ 37-yard line with eight seconds left in the game, Colston turned towards the open field instead of the sideline. As millions of people screamed “NO!”, Colston threw the ball to the opposite side of the field and five yards forward. There’s a reason the man doesn’t play quarterback. The ball skipped at a Seahawk defender’s feet and the play was whistled dead.
The illegal forward pass penalty resulted in a 10-second runoff and the game was over. If Colston had stepped out, the Saints would have had one more shot at the endzone, and with the size of Colston and Jimmy Graham, there is no telling what could have resulted from a jump ball.
Why didn’t Colston just step out of bounds? That question will likely be lingering on his mind as he tries to fall asleep at night for a long time. One thing is for sure, it’s going to be a long offseason for Marques Colston.