New Orleans Saints' safety Malcolm Jenkins believes the key to his team's turnaround in fortunes this season is down to their excellent defensive work.
The Saints are 9-2 for the season after their victory over the Atlanta Falcons before Thanksgiving.
Sean Payton's team have been ruthless in defence so far and lead the way in two categories after 12 weeks; most sacks per dropback and fewest missed tackles.
They are also in a five-way tie for the most sacks in the league with 37.
Jenkins says it is those statistics that form the foundations of the Saints charge for the Superbowl.
Our d-line is playing phenomenal and it feels good,” he said.
“The DBs, when we are playing man coverage, and after about two and a half seconds you see the quarterback go down, it makes our life a lot easier on the back end. It allows us to do a lot more as well.
“This defense goes as far as the defensive line takes us because if they do well, when they play well against the run we make teams one dimensional. Then they get to do what they want to do, and that is pass rush. They can always get to the quarterback, and you can see that because they are all getting pressure.”
The Saints face one of their sternest tests of the season when they travel to Washington to take on the Seattle Seahawks this Sunday.
WIn that and they'll be in contention for top seed ahead of the Seahawks going into the divisional round.