The New England Patriots spent the offseason trying to stabilize their shaky defense.
So far, so good.
Players counted on to play key roles performed well in the Patriots' preseason opener. Their time on the field was limited in Thursday night's 7-6 win over the New Orleans Saints, but the result was satisfying for a team that allowed the second most yards in the NFL last season.
First-round draft pick Chandler Jones had a strong game at defensive end and second-rounder Tavon Wilson had three tackles at defensive back.
Drew Brees played just two series and completed one of four passes for four yards. The Saints didn't get a first down while the quarterback, who set an NFL record with 5,476 yards passing last year, was in the game.