METAIRIE, La. (BRPROUD) — The Saints’ defense is starting to develop a concerning pattern over the last two games, starting slow.

Although, still ranked the fourth overall defense in the league, the Saints have let opponents score touchdowns early in games before locking down in the second half. 

In their past two games combined, New Orleans gave up 34 total first-half points. Then, locked in allowing 17 total second-half points. 

New Orleans says the main message this week ahead of a road test, get back to the standard of playing your best all four quarters. 

“We’ve got to start faster,” said Saints head coach Dennis Allen. “I think that that kind of boils down to our ability defensively to execute a little bit better.” 

“I think the overall message is the past two games we haven’t started fast and that’s hurt us,” said Pete Werner, Saints linebacker. “Our ultimate goal is to take the ball away, to score, to get (the) offense as many chances as possible. And when we’re out there and off to a slow start, that’s not helping them at all. Ultimately, it was the biggest message there is start fast, start fast. And at the end of the day, you got to go execute at the end of the game.”

The Saints’ defense will need a strong start Sunday, because they are once again facing a potent rushing attack in the Colts in Jonathan Taylor, the 2021 NFL rushing leader, and Zack Moss. 

“They’ve done a great job there, they are both physical, physical backs,” Werner said. “They’re hard to bring down, force a lot of missed tackles, very fast. We’ve got to tackle.”

New Orleans has also had issues with running quarterbacks this season. They’ll face that once again in Colts quarterback Gardner Minshew who had two rushing touchdowns in Indianapolis’ week seven game against the Browns.

“Right now, he’s got that swagger,” said Alontae Taylor, Saints cornerback. “Hopefully he keeps that same swagger when we go up there.”