They lead the NFL in yards and points allowed per game. The Detroit Lions' defense has been stifling in 2014. "Suh, Fairley, those guys on the front line," running back Mark Ingram said. "They disrupt a lot of plays, give a lot of teams headaches."
Detroit has tallied nine takeaways, including seven interceptions, and a league-best 20 sacks, eight coming last week in a 17-3 win against Minnesota.
"Their front is outstanding," head coach Sean Payton said. "They get the push inside from the tackles. Both of the ends are very active players so that combination, they give you enough pressure looks where it is not just a four man rush and yet if they are not pressuring they do a very good job of quickening the pace of the quarterback with just four guys rushing it. That ultimately makes it the most challenging because now you are throwing in two coverage looks as opposed to blitz looks. Offensively I just having seen some of the tape, I think they like us, have had their share of injuries and yet you can see they are playing a complementary game. They're doing a good job with balance, third downs, some of those things. I think that topic of pressure hurries is very important especially when it pertains to a road game like this."
Quarterback Drew Brees added, "I mean, those guys are beasts. But they also have some guys in reserve, who are a threat as well. Starts with them, and their defense plays extremely well together. I think they're just playing with a lot of confidence, it's going to be a formidable test."
The Saints will likely be without tight end Jimmy Graham (Shoulder), but the offense should receive a boost as Mark Ingram (Hand) fully expects to play after missing the past three games.
"If you want to look at a positive from the injury, it's not my legs, so just get my hand right," Ingram said. "The rest of my body is fresh, feeling good, so just ready to come back. I know our interior line is real good, I'm confident in what we're able to do. I'm confident we'll be able to execute. If we go out there and take care of what we need to take care of, we can be successful against them."
New Orleans (2-3) and Detroit (4-2) will kick things off Sunday at Noon on Fox 8.