Saints ex-coach Sean Payton is rooting for the Bengals in the playoffs

Sean Payton, New Orleans Saints. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Sean Payton, New Orleans Saints. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

The Cincinnati Bengals have one of the more close-knit fanbases in the league, but they wouldn’t mind adding one more supporter.

New Orleans Saints ex-coach Sean Payton shocked the league with news of his temporary retirement on Tuesday when he announced he’s stepping away from the team. In a recent press conference, he was asked who he would support in the 2021 playoffs, and he’s going with the underdog.

Sorry, we mean legitimate playoff contender. Joey B doesn’t like that other word.

Payton’s alliance may seem slightly strange given Bengals cornerback Eli Apple’s recent roasting of the Saints, but it’s not like Payton has great options.

Sean Payton is backing the Cincinnati Bengals in 2021 playoffs

The Chiefs are the favorites, so it’s no fun to pick them. The 49ers are…okay. And the Rams, well, not after that notorious playoff call.

Payton loves a good, respectable franchise, and there’s a lot to like about what Zac Taylor and his squad have accomplished this year.

The Bengals offense is firing on all fronts, something Payton wouldn’t be familiar with given the Saints’ disastrous passing schemes in 2021. The Bengals defense has also been solid, with a stable secondary unit of Chidobe Awuzie, Mike Hilton, and Apple (Payton doesn’t regret releasing Apple one bit) and a dominant group in the trenches.

Cincinnati have been underestimated all season, sometimes rightfully so, but it’s nice to see a legendary coach like Sean Payton supporting the team.

3 winners, 3 losers from Bengals’ thrilling win vs. Titans in Divisional Round. dark. Next

Payton will always have “Who Dat” in his blood, but even he can shout “Who Dey” for a month or so.