For most of this NFL season, the New Orleans Saints defense has played above expectations. There have been a few rough patches, and last week you could see a lower performance coming based on injuries.

But if the Saints plan to keep up their winning ways, and especially if they want to win the NFC South, they're going to need to get that defense back up to the level of play they had 3 weeks ago. From some of the noise coming out of the Saints practice facility, they're very aware of that. Here's more from the Louisiana Radio Network:

"The Panthers will bring a four-game winning streak into the Mercedes Benz Superdome on Sunday as New Orleans battles Carolina in a matchup of the top two teams in the NFC South. When Cam Newton plays good, the Panthers offense excels. Saints linebacker A.J. Klein says it’s important to keep Newton in the pocket.

Saints rookie cornerback Marshon Lattimore is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Panthers."