METAIRIE, La. ― Christmas is a season a giving and with that in mind, the Saints’ defensive coaches decided the defensive backs needed a not-so-subtle reminder that New Orleans is still in a fight for the playoffs.
“The coaches got us the boxing gloves to go with the rest of the getup we had,” defensive back Malcolm Jenkins said.
Indeed, the gloves go along with the boxing robes and shorts Jenkins purchased for the defensive backs prior to the Oct. 31 game against Pittsburgh.
The idea behind them was also a Jenkins original.
“We talked about defending the title,” the Ohio State graduate said. “Earlier this year when we played the Steelers, I bought everybody some boxing robes and that was kind of like a title fight. We knew it was going to be a physical game and that was the type of mentality we wanted to go into the game with.”
Jenkins expects the same thing Monday night when the 10-4 Saints try to stop 12-2 Atlanta’s eight-game winning streak.
The last time these two teams played, nearly 75 minutes with Atlanta’s Matt Bryant hitting a 46-yard field goal with 1:55 left to play in overtime. The Falcons ran the ball 50 times for 202 yards and Atlanta held onto the ball for 45 minutes, 50 seconds compared to 27:15 for the Saints.
New Orleans expects much the same Monday night.
“We just want to go out here and we know it’s going to be not just a fight for the division but a fight for this win,” Jenkins said. “They’re a good team. It’s always a physical game. None of the teams even like each other. It’s going to be a fun game to watch.”