O-line fueling Saints’ offensive efficiency

Metairie, La. -- Drew Brees is having one of his best seasons in his 18-year NFL career. He's been sitting atop the league in completion percentage and passer rating, and leads the highest scoring offense in the NFL. A lot of that success is because of the protection Brees is getting up front.

"We've been fortunate over the years to have some really good offensive lines," said Saints Head Coach Sean Payton. "I just think it's critical to everything you're trying to accomplish."

The offensive line has facilitated the passing game, in giving Brees plenty of time to deliver throws that are on the money to some very talented targets. That recipe equals a 76.4 completion percentage through 11 games.

"If we're moving offensively and having success running the ball and throwing the ball then obviously the call sheet looks big and when you struggle it looks smaller," Payton said. "They're a big part of that and I think it depends on the opponent. It depends on how that game's going."

Then looking the protection even further, Brees has only been sacked 10 times this season-- compared to Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, who's been sacked a league-leading 38 times. For the Saints, having that group of linemen as in-sync as they are, has made all the difference.

"When you get those 5 guys playing together for a period of time and they have some of those traits where they're tough, they understand what you're doing, does the scheme fit the strengths of those guys," Payton said.