The New Orleans Saints trounced the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.
One of the worst moments of the day came in the fourth quarter, when the Saints, already up 31 points, decided to go for it on fourth down and converted for a touchdown.
Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins, who got beat on the play, responded by raising a middle finger towards the Saints sidelines.
After the game, both Jenkins and Saints head coach Sean Payton showed mutual respect for one another.
It was a tough day for the Philadelphia Eagles defense on Sunday.
Facing the dominant Saints in New Orleans, the once-vaunted Philadelphia defense couldn't get a stop, with the Saints scoring on nine of their first 10 drives, jumping out to an early lead, and never looking back.
Possibly the most gut-wrenching moment of the Eagles' long day came early in the fourth quarter. The Saints were already leading by 31 points but faced a fourth down with six yards to go at the Eagles 37-yard line. They were a bit too close to punt, but a bit too far away to try for a field goal, so head coach Sean Payton decided to go for it.
It turned out to be the right call — Drew Brees found running back Alvin Kamara streaking down the sideline for a touchdown, extending the Saints lead to 45-7.
See photos from the game:
While it's hard to fault Payton for the decision given the circumstances, at the moment, former Saint and current Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins was frustrated with his former coach, flipping him the bird after the play.
— NBC10 Philadelphia (@NBCPhiladelphia) November 19, 2018
After the game, both Jenkins and Payton spoke of their mutual respect for one another.
"I'm a competitor," Jenkins explained when asked about the encounter. "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."
Payton had high praise for Jenkins as well, saying that letting him go was possibly the biggest mistake he's made as head coach of the Saints.
Payton said after the game, letting Malcolm Jenkins go was the biggest mistake they made in the 13 years he's been there. This was said after Jenkins gave Payton the middle finger during the game. #Saints#Eagles@FOX8NOLApic.twitter.com/LLINdVj98N
— Garland Gillen (@garlandgillen) November 19, 2018
Jenkins and the Eagles will have to turn things around fast if they want to make it back to the playoffs for a chance to repeat as Super Bowl champions. Currently 4-6, their season would likely already be over if not for the carnage that is the NFC East this season — they sit just two games behind the division-leading Redskins, who just lost starting quarterback Alex Smith for the season to a gruesome leg injury.
Meanwhile, the Saints moved to 9-1 on the season and remain one of the most unstoppable teams in the league heading into the home stretch of the season — holding a head-to-head win over the Rams, they are the obvious favorites for the top seed in the NFC.