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 9 win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
ESPN - #3 (+6)
Projected wins: 11.6. Over their seven-game win streak, the Saints have rushed for 1,139 yards and 14 touchdowns. That's not bad for a team that was projected to win just 7.9 games in the preseason.
CBS - #5 (+/1)
They have won seven straight games and clearly are in the conversation as the NFC's best team. The defense is for real.
Yahoo - #3 (+1)
One reason the Saints’ defense is playing well: New Orleans’ offense is sustaining drives. The Saints are fourth in the league in time of possession. It was clear that the Saints were targeting a more run-heavy approach this season, which would help the defense and Drew Brees too (but you already knew that if you read our preview this summer).
Bleacher Report - #3 (+/-)
If anyone still isn't believing in the Saints, I don't know what they've been watching the last seven weeks.
The old Saints—who needed Drew Brees to throw for 300-plus yards every week—are gone. This is one of the best running teams in football. Brees is still surgical with the ball, but he hasn't been taking a lot of chances or creating bad turnovers. This makes for a balanced and dangerous offense.
The big difference with this new incarnation of New Orleans is the defense. The front seven is tremendous, and the front four can do it all. There are some athletic and talented young guys in the secondary too. This makes for a capable defense, even if it isn't a shutdown unit.
There's no denying the Saints are one of the best teams in the NFL.
NFL - #4 (+1)
Really enjoyed that two-play scoring drive spearheaded by Chase Daniel and Trey Edmunds in the fourth quarter. Imagine you're a Saints fan who finished visiting your kid at UL-Monroe (formerly NELU, home of Bubby Brister), turned on the radio on the drive south down Highway 165 and heard the following: Daniel hands it to Edmunds ... who goes 3 yards up the middle. You'd think it was August and you were just dropping your kid off at school to start the year. What a day for New Orleans, which put up big points, while the defense very quietly has turned into a top-five unit. I wrote about Sean Payton changing the whole approach to a run game/defense deal this offseason, but I never expected this.
Average Power Ranking Composite: #4 (+1)