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Week 13 opponent: What the Saints are saying

What are the New Orleans Saints talking about ahead of this week's NFC matchup against the Detroit Lions at Caesars Superdome? Let's find out:

1. Saints head coach Dennis Allen and Lions head coach Dan Campbell have known each other for a long time dating back to their time as players together at Texas A&M. Allen said Campbell has always been a 'tough, gritty dude' who was an overachiever as a player and has always had that kind of mindset throughout his coaching career.

The two were also on the same staff in New Orleans when Campbell was there from 2016-2020. Allen said one of the things he knows about Campbell is that he's always had a tough, physical mindset.

View photos of the starters for the New Orleans Saints.

2. Does Allen see the same thing in this Lions football team?

"I think he's done a really good job," Allen said of Campbell and the coaching job he's doing in Detroit. "It didn't start out great for him but about halfway through the second season they started to turn things around. I think he's done a really good job.

"I think their team is tough, physical, competitive. They do a good job on offense in the run game. They do a good job of play-action pass game. In the run game they play really physical and aggressive defensively. I think he's done a good job with that team, yeah."

3. New Orleans is coming off a 24-15 loss to Atlanta where they allowed the Falcons to rush 41 times for 228 yards (5.6 avg.).

Saints defensive end Carl Granderson was asked about the defensive mindset this week facing a Detroit offense that's rushed for at least 200 yards three times this season.

"We are going to come into this game ready, prepared and continue to focus throughout the week on details and fundamentals," Granderson said. "They (Detroit) like to run the ball, so whatever works for them they're going to come out and try to execute their game plan. So, we have to come out ready to start."

4. Saints offensive lineman Cesar Ruiz said the confidence level hasn't dropped at all following two straight losses to Atlanta (24-15) and Minnesota (27-19) that puts New Orleans at 5-6 on the season. He said a lot of their issues have been self-inflicted and they'll spend the week cleaning them up. He's confident they'll play good ball Sunday.

He also gave a shoutout to his alma mater Michigan for their win over Ohio State Saturday and is hoping they get a spot in the College Football Playoff and play in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans so he can watch from the sideline.

View photos of Detroit Lions players' cleats for the NFL's My Cause My Cleats initiative.

5. Allen lamented his team's inability to stop Atlanta from scoring 10 points on their last two possessions. He also talked about the missed opportunities for his team offensively going 0-for-5 in the red zone in their loss to the Falcons last week.

"As I look at that game if we're able to capitalize on a few of those opportunities I think the game plays out differently," he said.

6. What is the identity of the Saints on offense and defense, per Allen?

He said his offense is fast and explosive. His defense is opportunistic. He's definitely spot on about the defense. New Orleans ranks tied for fourth in the NFL with 20 takeaways on the year. Only Denver (22), Buffalo (21) and San Francisco (21) have more. Their 14 interceptions are the second most in the league. Detroit has turned the ball over seven times (4 fumbles, 3 interceptions) in their last two games vs. Chicago and Green Bay.

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