Oct 28, 2013 6:45 PM by AP
METAIRIE, La. (AP) - It hasn't taken long for the New Orleans Saints defense to shed its reputation as a laughing stock of the NFL.
One season after giving up a league-record 7,042 yards, the Saints are now among the leaders of several key defensive rankings.
Heading into a midseason visit to the New York Jets, the Saints have held all six teams they've beaten to 17 or fewer points and rank fourth in the NFL in scoring defense, giving up 17.1 points per game. New Orleans has forced 15 turnovers and their net turnover differential of plus-eight ranks third in the league. The 24 sacks by the Saints' defense is tied with New England for sixth.
Coach Sean Payton says he's encouraged and says he can see his defenders gaining confidence.