Here we’ll look at five major NFL news outlets and their weekly Power Rankings to see where the New Orleans Saints stack up week-to-week. Here’s where ESPN, CBS, Yahoo, Bleacher Report and NFL.com rank the Saints after their Week 7 win against the Green Bay Packers.
ESPN - #9 (+5)
New Orleans' defense is much improved, but it's still not perfect. The Saints are allowing 4.9 yards per rush, the third-most in the NFL. They also allowed 169 rush yards per game over the past two despite facing inexperienced quarterbacks who relied on the run.
CBS - #7 (+/-)
Is the defense for real? It sure looks like it is for now. Dennis Allen is doing a heck of a job with that side of the ball.
Yahoo - #6 (+2)
For the first time all season, rookie running back Alvin Kamara played more than half of the offensive snaps. His percentage of snaps has increased every week since Week 2. After Mark Ingram said repeatedly that he “sucked” on Sunday, it’s fair to wonder if Kamara’s usage will continue to grow.
Bleacher Report - #3 (+2)
Drew Brees and the Saints offense played the perfect game against a stout Chicago defense. Brees didn't take too many risks, and he picked apart the Bears secondary when the opportunities were there. The run game also did its job for the most part, aside from two Mark Ingram fumbles.
The beauty of this year's offense is that there is balance. The Saints can lean on Brees and the passing game. They can also turn around and beat you with the power run game.
We know about the Saints offense, though. It's been carrying the team for years. What's different this year is that the Saints defense is good. It's not great, it's not one of the five best, but it's no longer a liability. It's solid at all three levels.
Because the defense keeps improving, the Saints have become one of the best teams in the NFC. New Orleans can be dangerous come playoff time too because Brees is always going to give this team a shot to win. The improved defense can keep Brees within striking distance against most teams.
NFL - #8 (+/-)
Gritty win for the Saints, who are looking more like a Bill Parcells football team than the New Orleans outfits we've come to know. Sean Payton was an offensive assistant under Parcells in Dallas, and it appears he's taken a page out of his former boss' playbook when it comes to pounding the rock. The Saints ran the ball 30 times on Sunday, while attempting 28 passes. Granted, a few of those runs were Drew Brees scrambles, but you get the point. Now, part of using the ground game and playing top-level defense is not giving the ball away. Mark Ingram must protect the football. Two fourth-quarter fumbles almost cost his team the W. Otherwise, nice game.
Average Power Ranking Composite: #7 (+1)