NFL

Playoff road map for 0-2 New Orleans Saints: Better pass defense

GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 13: Head coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints (left) talks with quarterback Drew Brees #9 during the second half of the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on September 13, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Saints 31-19. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 13: Head coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints (left) talks with quarterback Drew Brees #9 during the second half of the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on September 13, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Saints 31-19. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

New Orleans is off to an 0-2 start for the second consecutive season. Here are two elements critical to a turnaround.

*Quarterback play: The short-term playing status of Drew Brees is in question after he suffered a shoulder injury last Sunday against Tampa Bay. The Saints would be in big trouble without him. The two backups behind Brees are Luke McCown, who hasn't started a game since 2011, and 2015 third-round pick Garrett Grayson.

*Better pass defense: Tampa Bay's Jameis Winston was coming off a disastrous NFL debut against Tennessee, but you could never tell with the success he enjoyed against New Orleans. The Saints have generated three sacks and no interceptions while allowing Winston and Arizona's Carson Palmer to post an average quarterback rating of 119.5.

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