Eagles S Malcolm Jenkins explains why he flipped off Saints coach Sean Payton

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The New Orleans Saints beat the brakes off the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.

The 48-7 victory was the largest margin of defeat a defending Super Bowl champion has suffered in the history of the NFL.

Saints did not let up

During the win, Saints running back Alvin Kamara roasted Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins for a 37-yard touchdown catch. The score came on a deep pass on fourth-and-7 with the Saints leading 38-7 in the fourth quarter.

In some circles, that’s known as running up the score.

Jenkins didn’t appear to appreciate it and was caught flipping the bird to Saints coach Sean Payton on the sideline.

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Jenkins admits bird was for Payton

When asked about it, the former Saint admitted to NBC Sports Philadelphia that the gesture was indeed directed at his ex-coach. He also said he had a word with Payton about it after the game.

“That was more so with Sean Payton,” Jenkins said when asked about the gesture. “I’m a competitor, I love Sean to death. I know what type of guy he is, what type of coach he is.

“That was more so personal between me and him. But we talked after the game, and it’s all good.”

Malcolm Jenkins gave his former coach a middle-finger salute after getting burned on a big play late in Sunday’s blowout loss. (Getty)
Malcolm Jenkins gave his former coach a middle-finger salute after getting burned on a big play late in Sunday’s blowout loss. (Getty)

Running up the score OK?

Jenkins’ gesture was a heat-of-the moment outburst born out of frustration of losing badly and getting beaten personally on a big play.

There are a couple of schools of thought in blowout wins like Sunday’s. One believes it’s disrespectful to keep the foot on the gas — that when a game is firmly in hand, the victor should ease up. There’s another that recognizes that there are professionals on both sides of the ball, and it’s up to one team to stop the other if it doesn’t like being scored upon.

Jenkins respects Payton’s approach

Jenkins, while frustrated in the heat of the moment, appears to be of the latter school of thought and explained that he respects the game Payton was playing after having time to cool down.

“I know Sean,” Jenkins said. “He’s one of those people, they’re gonna go for it. 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’ve got a lot of respect for what they’re doing, especially Sean.”

To put it succinctly, game recognizes game.

The Eagles had plenty of game last year. But on Sunday and for much of the NFL season, the Saints have appeared to have all the game.

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