WHERE: New Era Field, Buffalo, N.Y.
RADIO: WWL-AM, 870; WWL-FM, 105.3 in New Orleans; KMDL-FM, 97.3 in Lafayette; WDGL-FM, 98.1 in Baton Rouge; en español: WGSO-AM, 990; WVDU-FM, 97.9
RECORDS: New Orleans 6-2; Buffalo 5-3
COACHES: Saints, Sean Payton, 11th season, 100-68; Bills, Sean McDermott, first season, 5-3
LAST WEEK: Buffalo came out flat on a Thursday night road trip to the Meadowlands and found themselves under siege from a surprising New York Jets team that battered Tyrod Taylor and knocked off Buffalo 34-21.
OFFENSE: Buffalo's ball-control offense is built around the legs of LeSean McCoy and Tyrod Taylor, one of the most mobile quarterbacks in the league, but the Bills have largely struggled to move the ball on offense so far this season. McCoy's 546 yards lead a rushing attack that is ranked 11th in the NFL, but the yardage is a byproduct of quantity, not quality. Buffalo is averaging just 3.7 yards per carry, a figure that ranks 24th in the NFL; the yardage totals have come because the Bills have called 250 run plays, the sixth-highest figure in the league. Teams have been able to stack the box against McCoy because of Buffalo's lack of playmakers in the passing game; no group of wide receivers in the NFL has fewer catches. Buffalo tried to remedy that by trading for Carolina's Kelvin Benjamin at the deadline, and the big target is expected to make his debut against the Saints, flanked by former Eagle Jordan Matthews (21 catches, 239 yards). Buffalo's passing game has been held back by the Bills' inability to protect Taylor, who is completing 65.3 percent of his passes with 10 touchdowns and two interceptons. Buffalo has given up 26 sacks, tied for 27th in the NFL. If there's a plus for the Bills, it's that Taylor is excellent at protecting the ball; Buffalo has turned it over only six times, third-best in the NFL.
DEFENSE: Buffalo's defense has been just as good at taking the ball away as the Bills offense has been at protecting it; Buffalo has created 17 turnovers, second-best in the NFL behind the Ravens. Safety Micah Hyde ranks second in the NFL with five interceptions, former LSU cornerback Tre'Davious White has an interception and two fumble recoveries as one of the league's best rookie defenders and free safety Jordan Poyer has two sacks, two interceptions and a fumble recovery of his own. Buffalo's ability to take the ball away has led to one of the biggest disparities between total defense and scoring defense in the NFL; the Bills are just 21st in the NFL in total defense, but fifth in the league in terms of points allowed. The Bills traded away nose tackle Marcell Dareus to Jacksonville at the deadline, and without him in the lineup, Buffalo hemorrhaged 194 rushing yards in the loss to the Jets, far worse than its No. 8 ranking against the run. Buffalo has also struggled against the pass. Despite the emergence of White and the presence of edge rushers like Jerry Hughes, Shaq Lawson and Lorenzo Alexander, the Bills have just 14 sacks, and the Bills are giving up 250.3 passing yards per game, 26th in the NFL.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Former Seahawk Steven Hauschka has been excellent at kicker, with five field goals beyond 50 yards already, and punter Colton Schmidt has kept returns to a minimum. Return man Brandon Tate is solid but not spectacular.