METAIRIE, La. — In the moments after New Orleans’ 27-point loss to Seattle, Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins said he would sleep just fine on the ride home knowing that his teammates were the type to recover from that type of defeat.
What he didn’t plan on was having that sleep occur in Seattle, putting the Saints back in New Orleans a full work day later than they were supposed to arrive.
“It just kind of went right along the rest of the day, so like you said it was just the cherry on top,” Jenkins said.
And yet, with what is now the season’s biggest game on the horizon, no one believes the delayed return set the Saints back.
Not with modern day technology in the palms of the players’ respective hands.
“The iPads and all that stuff are available,” Saints Coach Sean Payton said. “We got in (from Seattle) around 3:00, 3:30, came over to the offices and started our work. But the iPads had all the games of Carolina, cut ups, everything that you necessarily needed.”
The team doesn’t provide iPads for players, but the coaches do choose which players receive the pertinent information to use on their own devices.
So, whether the Saints (9-3) were going to fly back Monday night or Tuesday, the players were in good shape to begin preparations for Sunday night’s critical game against Carolina.
They’ll need all the help they can get.
While the Panthers (9-3) have won eight straight games playing complementary football, a lot of the success can be directly credited to a defense as well as taking care of the ball on offense.
During the eight-game win streak, Carolina has forced 17 turnovers while committing just seven of its own. And while the Panthers are allowing the same yardage through the air they did during their 1-3 start, they’re allowing nearly 20 fewer yards on the ground.
They’re also giving up just 12.3 points per game during the win streak.
In other words, there was plenty for Saints players to watch on their iPads while traveling back from Seattle.
“We can watch film on the plane on our iPads and we can do all of those things that we would be doing here anyway while we’re away,” Saints tight end Benjamin Watson said. “It’s just a wrinkle in the schedule, but again it’s something that everybody deals with from time to time and you have to be prepared for it.”