The Saints piled on points in their 48-7 win, and the endless scoring seemed to get to former Saints and current Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins, who flashed the middle finger at the Saints sideline during the rout.
In the fourth quarter, New Orleans decided to go for it on fourth-and-6 from the 37 yard line, which would be a long field goal or a short punt. The Saints converted the down and distance by scoring a 37-yard touchdown. Jenkins was in coverage of Saints running back Alvin Kamara, who nabbed an easy catch from Drew Brees on the way to the end zone. After the play, Jenkins flipped the bird at Saints coach Sean Payton.
Jenkins discussed the gesture in an interview with NBC Sports Philadelphia. Here’s what he said:
“I’m a competitor. I love Sean to death, and I know what type of guy and what type of coach he is. And so that was more so personal between me and him. We talked after the game; it’s all good.”
“I know Sean. He’s one of those people that they’re going to go for it [on fourth down], and I understood that. I was just more so upset that it was on me. I know what kind of team they are. I know how they’re coached, they’re well coached. I got a lot of respect for what they’re doing, especially Sean.”
But, perhaps, the best part of this sequence of events came after the middle finger. Payton admitted that letting go of Jenkins was the biggest mistake they made in his 13 years in New Orleans.
There’s no better reminder than a middle finger. Apparently, Payton loved Jenkins’ fire even when directed at Payton.