"I told myself before coming in here, I was not going to comment on the officiating," Payton told reporters, per Jeff Duncan of The Times-Picayune.
Then Payton did exactly that, laying into the zebras for what he called multiple examples of the refs missing 12 men on the field by Carolina.
Duncan also noted that Payton "was livid with the officials" after a fourth-down pass from Drew Brees that fell to the turf to seal the game for the Panthers. Payton wanted a pass-interference call on Carolina cover man Josh Norman, but no flag was tossed, leaving Duncan to tweet: "Haven't seen him that mad in a while."
Whether or not he has a point, Payton isn't alone. The up-and-down officiating on Sundays has left coaches, players and fans flummoxed all autumn. We'll wait to hear what the league has to say about Payton's complaints, but no explanation can erase the pain of another brutal loss for New Orleans.