The New Orleans Saints are the lone NFL team to not have committed a turnover, a point of emphasis that players have been able to heed, with a bit of good fortune sprinkled on top.
“Now, last game in London (against Miami), we tried,” Coach *Sean Payton *said Thursday morning during his teleconference with local media. “We didn’t have any, but we certainly tried. We had miscues with the snap, we had a ball that was almost intercepted – we had a handful of times where very easily, it could have been a two- or three-turnover game.
“But hopefully the point of emphasis of ball security – and it’s easy each week to point to the results – but I think (quarterback) Drew (Brees)* *has done a very good job in that regard, and I think the runners and receivers have as well. This is a team we’re getting ready to play that’s taken it away a lot in just a short amount of time.”
Detroit, New Orleans’ opponent Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, has forced 11 turnovers (seven interceptions and four fumble recoveries) in five games.
BRINGING THE HEAT: *The Saints have posted eight sacks in their last two games, victories over Carolina and Miami. The sacks have come from seven players – defensive linemen *Cam Jordan *(two), *Alex Okafor, Trey Hendrickson, Hau’oli Kikaha *and *David Onyemata, linebacker A.J. Klein *and safety *Rafael Bush – but the pressure has been the result of a collaborative effort. “It’s really two things,” Payton said. “I think situationally, our third-down numbers have been good in regards to the distance we’re getting it, and it’s allowed those guys up front to come off the ball. And I think the coverage element is tighter. I think it’s been better than it was in the first two weeks.”
*NO NEED FOR INTRODUCTIONS: *Saints right guard *Larry Warford *will play his former team for the first time Sunday. Warford spent his first four seasons with Detroit and started all 57 games he played. He was a highly-prized free agent signee for New Orleans. “He’s been a great addition for us,” Payton said. “He’s a good player, he’s been steady, available, he’s a good teammate, he’s strong. I like the player a lot and I’m glad that he’s someone we signed.”
*HOME RUN: *The Saints created a distinct home-field advantage at the Superdome during a several years run. As recently has 2013, the team was undefeated in its eight home games and from 2009-11, New Orleans was 22-5 (including 3-0 in the playoffs) at the Superdome. Since 2013, the Saints are 11-14 at home.
Payton said there’s no magic potion to getting on another home run, save this: Play better. He spoke to the team in a team meeting Thursday morning about the need to take care of business at home.
“Just playing better, taking advantage of the noise. We kind of went through the history, we talked about the advantages of playing at home and some of the distractions and challenges when you play at home. That’s something we have to improve on.
“Generally, you defend and play your home games well. That may not mean you win every one of your home games, but it certainly has to be better than it has been recently.”