METAIRIE, La. (AP) - Saints coach Sean Payton is starting this week by emphasizing the many good things he noticed during New Orleans' latest loss.
With his players mystified by their inability to close out close games, Payton is steering clear of the kind of criticism that could shatter the increasingly fragile psyche of a team struggling to come to grips with its 2-4 start.
Payton says that it is clear by the Saints performance in Detroit that his team is improving overall, particularly on defense, but needs to learn how to "finish." The 24-23 loss to the Lions marked the third time this season that the Saints have lost a lead in the last two minutes.
New Orleans returns to action next Sunday night at home against Green Bay.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.