The Patriots played a team currently 10-0 last weekend, but according to their head coach, they may face a more difficult challenge in their next game.
"I don’t think there’s any better team in football than the New Orleans Saints," coach Bill Belichick said.
The Saints are scoring 36.9 points per game, about a full touchdown better than second-place Minnesota, while racking up 420.5 yards per game. Peyton Manning, obviously, presents a unique challenge for a defense. But the Saints may be even more tough to prepare for.
"New Orleans I’d say is a little more balanced," Belichick said. "They’re both pretty good. But New Orleans is real good on defense and they’re real good in the kicking game. They have no weaknesses that I can see. They’re averaging, whatever it is, 40 points a game. They look pretty good to me."
Every phase of the Saints impressed Belichick, not just their offense. The Saints have forced an NFL-best 29 turnovers, and they've taken back nine of those for touchdowns.
"It’s everything," Belichick said. "It’s wherever you want to start. Running backs, quarterbacks, tight end, receivers, offensive line. Scheme, all the different things that they do, that Sean [Payton] does offensively. You’ve got to defend a lot of scheme. You’re got to defend a lot of players.
"And then they score a lot on defense. It seems like every game you watch, they’re running one or two interceptions back for a touchdown. I bet they’re had two or three of them called back for touchdowns. Usually you see one or two of those a year for a team. These guys got them every week. So they’re pretty dangerous. Try not to let them score when we have the ball."