NEW ORLEANS - Saints head coach Sean Payton told Atlanta media Wednesday that he made a "mistake" when he made a choking gesture towards the Falcons during the Thursday night game between the teams two weeks ago.

The image was seen briefly on TV, but after the game Payton said he did not recall that happening.

Wednesday, he told media, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, that the incident was a mistake and that he let the emotion of that game get to him a bit.

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"The mistake I made that night was letting my emotions get the best of me," he said. "It's the same thing we talk about with our players all of the time. It wasn't good, and I felt that as the game went on, it even affected me in calling plays. I've got to be better that way."

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Payton was upset throughout the game as penalties - 9 against the Saints that resulted in first downs - along with missed opportunities (like a field goal at the end of the first half that was waived off by a penalty and the end of the half) seemed to upset him. Payton was visibly upset after the half time field goal try and at game's end, when he rushed onto the field and was assessed a penalty for unsportsman-like conduct, that seemed to end the feint hope the team had of a late comeback.