METAIRIE, La. — Last year the New Orleans Saints defense forced 14 total turnovers.

Through five games, they’re sixth in total takeaways, with seven interceptions and two fumbles.

The unit’s ability to turn the ball over in 2023 has been their biggest confidence booster.

“Well, it’s all about the ball. You know, obviously, you want to execute your assignments. You know, play in and play out, but, you know, I think defensively, you know, everything we do is, you know, about the ball and, you know, how can we get it back on offense? You know, how can we take it away and how can we be disruptive? So long as we kind of keep that mentality I think we’ll be all right,” said New Orleans Saints safety Tyrann Mathieu.

Three of their nine takeaways came in Sunday’s 34-0 win over the New England Patriots. The defense kicked things off with a Tyrann Mathieu pick-six.

Linebacker Pete Werner hauled in the Saints’ second interception of the day.

“Yeah, it’s a huge confidence booster. I mean, we look at the stats DA, puts it up there every single week, is who’s winning the turnover -takeaway ratio. We know that it’s a big game-changer as far as your win-loss record. We know if we turn the ball a lot, we’re going to win games. So that’s that’s the emphasis there,” said New Orleans Saints linebacker Pete Werner.

The focus in week six is disrupting rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud and the Houston Texans’ offense.

Stroud has tossed seven touchdown passes and currently holds the record for the most passing yards by a rookie without an interception (1,461).

A streak the Saints are hoping to snap Sunday.

“I think it starts up front. You know, if those guys can get to him and, you know, get him off his spot. You know, force him to make a decision he doesn’t want to make. Then from there, it’s, you know, I think on the back end is just playing tight coverage. You know, trying our best to force him into those tight window throws,” says Mathieu.

The Saints (3-2) face the Texans (2-3) Sunday at noon.