Saints head coach Dennis Allen. Photo Credit: New Orleans Saints on YouTube Photo Credit: New Orleans Saints on YouTube

The New Orleans Saints decided to run the score up against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, which sparked a heated interaction between the now-former Falcons head coach Arthur Smith and Saints head coach Dennis Allen at midfield after the game. Allen made it known that this was not his intention in his postgame press conference.

The animosity between Smith and Allen stems from the Saints’ decision to run the ball while leading 41-17 instead of simply kneeling the clock out with 1:13 remaining in the game.

This resulted in a one-yard rushing touchdown for Saints backup running back Jamaal Williams, his first touchdown of the season.

Arthur Smith was obviously upset with this act of poor sportsmanship in his eyes, leading to a tense post-game interaction between him and Dennis Allen.

What Smith didn’t know at the time of this interaction was that Allen actually didn’t want his team to score on the play. Instead, the team decided to disregard Allen’s wishes and got Williams his lone touchdown of the year.

Saints quarterback Jameis Winston, who relieved Derek Carr as the starter for this play, explained the decision from his perspective while talking to reporters in the locker room.

“I apologize to DA (Dennis Allen) because the play was victory (formation),” said Winston via Garland Gillen of Fox 8 in New Orleans. “But I also explained to DA that it was a team decision. I asked the guys what they wanted to do. We know how much Jamaal (Williams) means to this team. I understood from DA’s perspective. He didn’t condone that at all. But we decided as a team to do it. It was an offensive team discussion.”

It’s an understandable decision from Winston’s perspective to get a valued veteran like Jamaal Williams in the endzone for the first time all year.

He also wasn’t the only one who wanted to get Williams the touchdown. As he said, it was a team decision by the offense and several offensive linemen spoke about the situation and agreed with the decision after the game as well.

However, Dennis Allen clearly didn’t see things this way. He used his postgame press conference to both publicly reprimand his team and offer an apology to the Falcons and Arthur Smith.

“That’s not who we are and that’s not how we operate,” said Allen of the decision via Saints sideline reporter Jeff Nowak. “We should have taken a knee so I want to apologize to them. We have a good rivalry and it is a heated rivalry. But there is a way that we go about doing our business and I wasn’t happy about that.

“We should have taken a knee. They asked me about getting Jamaal a touchdown at the end. I said I wanted to take a knee. We put victory (formation) out there. The guys did that on their own. That’s not acceptable.”

[Jeff Nowak on Twitter/X, Photo Credit: New Orleans Saints on YouTube]

About Reice Shipley

Reice Shipley is a staff writer for Comeback Media that graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Sports Media. He previously worked at Barrett Sports Media and is a fan of all things Syracuse sports.