10 things to know about Saints

November, 25, 2009
11/25/09
8:23
AM ET
Getting familiar with the Patriots’ next opponent, the Saints, with 10 quick-hit thoughts:

1. They are 10-0. Home games have come against the Lions, Jets, Giants, Falcons and Panthers. Road games have been against the Eagles, Bills, Dolphins, Rams and Buccaneers.

2. Head coach Sean Payton is in his fourth year, and he calls the offensive plays. He previously coached on Bill Parcells’ staff in Dallas after stints with the Giants (1999-2002) and Eagles (1997-98).

3. Pete Carmichael Jr., who grew up in Medway, Mass., and graduated from Boston College, is the offensive coordinator. Gregg Williams is the defensive coordinator.

4. They have a league-high 29 takeaways, led by safety Darren Sharper’s seven interceptions.

5. On the flip side, they have lost 10 fumbles, with only one team losing more (Oakland, 12).

6. Quarterback Drew Brees is having an MVP-worthy season: 218 of 320 for 2,746 yards, with 22 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. His 68 percent completion rate would set a career high.

7. Pierre Thomas (105 carries, 584 yards), Mike Bell (115 carries, 514 yards) and Reggie Bush (55 carries, 277 yards) spearhead an impressive three-pronged running attack.

8. Marques Colston is the leading receiver (44 catches, 687 yards, 6 TDs), followed by tight end Jeremy Shockey (39 catches, 461 yards, 3 TDs).

9. Categories in which they lead the NFL include: points per game (36.9), total yards per game (420.5), total passing yards per game (266.2), percentage of opponents passes intercepted (20 INTs).

10. Injuries at cornerback are a primary concern, as starters Jabari Greer (groin) and Tracy Porter (knee) did not play last Sunday against Tampa, and top reserve Randall Gay left the game with what he said was a hamstring injury. They signed veteran cornerbacks Chris McAlister and Mike McKenzie over the last two weeks.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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