Payton sees promise in Saints' defense
METAIRIE - Saints coach Sean Payton says statistics can be deceiving, particularly the number of yards a defense gives up.
New Orleans' defense ranks 31st in the NFL, having plummeted from a ranking of fourth last season. Yet Payton sounds encouraged by the progress defensive coordinator Rob Ryan's unit demonstrated in a 35-32 victory over Pittsburgh on Sunday.
Payton says he's not overly concerned about the yardage Pittsburgh piled up during two late touchdown drives, which came after the Saints built a three-score lead.
Payton says two interceptions of Ben Roethlisberger, sturdiness against the run and an ability to keep the Steelers out of the end zone until the third quarter were good signs heading into the regular season's final four games.
New Orleans hosts Carolina on Sunday.