Netflix’s sports film ‘Home Team’ centers around New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton, who decides to train his son’s sixth-grade football team when he gets suspended from the NFL due to a scandal. Directed by Charles and Daniel Kinnane, the comedy film is based on the inspiring real-life account of former football coach Sean Payton. Starring Kevin James as Sean Payton and Taylor Lautner as Troy Lambert, the film offers an engrossing drama that keeps one hooked till its very end. If you are curious about the film’s ending, let us share our findings! SPOILERS AHEAD.
Home Team Plot Synopsis
‘Home Team’ begins with New Orleans Saints and head coach Sean Payton’s Super Bowl XLIV win. Two years after the win, Payton gets suspended for his involvement in “Bountygate.” He appeals his suspension and arrives at Argyle, Texas, to watch his son Connor’s football matches. He encounters his ex-wife Beth and Beth’s husband Jamie as well. Even though Sean tries to reconnect with his son, Connor keeps his distance from Sean. Still, Payton continues to come to the matches of the Warriors, Connor’s team. Meanwhile, the Warriors continue their season without a single win.
During a match, Payton interferes while the team’s head coach Troy Lambert instructs his players. Payton asks him to change the game plan, which leads to the Warriors’ first touchdown in the season. Troy approaches Payton and asks him to become the team’s coach. A reluctant Payton finally agrees to become the Warriors’ offensive coordinator. He also tries his best to connect with his son.
In his first session, Payton provides a new playbook to the players and explains his game plan. He motivates the players to aim for the championship by winning the rest of their games. The Warriors beat the odds to be in the championship to face the mighty Porcupines. To avoid another loss against the Porcupines, Payton calls his mentor for advice. His mentor asks him to radically change his formation and player roles. On game day, Payton brings changes to the team as per his mentor’s suggestions, which results in initial success.
Home Team Ending: Who Wins the Championship? Why Does Payton Opt for a Field Goal?
The Porcupines win the championship. Payton’s radical challenges initially stun Daryl, the Porcupines’ head coach. However, his team regains their upper hand in the game through the players’ speed. Even though the Warriors end the half-time leading 18 to 17, the players start complaining. When Payton asks the boys to get ready to deal with the opposition’s adjustments, they tell him that they are tired. The changes in the game plan and formation drain the energy of the players.
Payton emphasizes the sacrifice they need to make for the betterment of the team, only for Connor to snap at his father’s wish to win the game for his own reputation. He confronts his dad about pushing them beyond their limits. Connor’s confrontation with Payton opens the eyes of the coach. Rather than pressuring the boys with his tactics, he allows them to play their natural game. Rather than prioritizing the win, he starts to consider the players’ desire to play the championship game after the efforts they have put in to lead the team to the very end.
Even though the Porcupines gain the lead, the Warriors succeed to win points with their natural game. By the end, the Warriors come behind the Porcupines by three points. Rather than attempting to go for the touchdown and win, he asks Harlan to go for a field goal and get a tie. Rather than alienating Harlan — who hasn’t scored a single field goal all season — Payton gives him a chance. Even though that means jeopardizing the chances of winning, Payton decides to boost Harlan’s confidence by doing so.
A sulky Harlan gains the confidence and goes to kick the field goal. The confrontation with Connor makes him realize that the players should be the priority, rather than his own sentiments. Payton understands how cruel it is to sideline Harlan and others after all the hard work they have done in training. Although Payton compromises on the possibilities of winning, he involves all the players and makes them feel that they are important. Harlan takes the final kick, fails to score, and the Porcupines win the tournament. Yet, the Warriors celebrate the distance they have traveled together to be the runner-ups.
Do Payton and Connor Reconnect?
Yes, Payton and Connor do reconnect. When Payton first arrives to watch his son’s performance, Connor welcomes him coldly. He displays the distance between them aggressively by not talking to him. However, a training session changes the dynamics between them. When Connor gives him a chance to reconnect with him, Payton succeeds to do so. However, the confrontation on the final game day changes their dynamics again.
Connor calls out Payton’s selfishness and how badly he is treating him and his mates. Rather than allowing his ego to get the better of him, Payton realizes the mistake he has made. During the end of the final game, Payton gives a chance to all the players sitting on the bench. He first introduces Nate and Jason and allows them to play their natural game. He let go of his complicated tactics and let the players enjoy the game on their own.
When Payton gives Harlan a chance, Connor eases down and gets back on good terms with his father. Before leaving for New Orleans, Payton invites Connor to visit and his son accepts. They spend a day together and Payton leaves after reconnecting with Connor. Payton wins his son back by letting his selfishness go and approaching the game with the mind of a sixth-grade football player.