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Saints Slip in This Week’s Power Rankings

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NFL: New Orleans Saints at Los Angeles Rams Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

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 12 loss against the Los Angeles Rams.

ESPN - #6 (-1)

Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara might be the best backfield duo of 2017, and the stats bear that out. No team has gained more rushing yards from running backs and no team has gained more receiving yards from running backs than the Saints have this season.

CBS - #7 (-3)

The injuries really showed up in the loss to the Rams. The secondary had major issues without two starting corners, and their status bears watching heading into the Carolina game this week.

Yahoo - #6 (-3)

I’m not holding it against the Saints that they went into Los Angeles and lost to a good Rams team, especially considering New Orleans was without its top two cornerbacks. What is worth mentioning is that rookie running back Alvin Kamara is the third rookie in NFL history to have 500 scrimmage yards, three rushing touchdowns and three receiving touchdowns in a calendar month, according to NFL spokesman Randall Liu. The other two rookies to accomplish that are Hall of Famers Gale Sayers and Charley Taylor. Kamara might be your NFL offensive rookie of the year.

Bleacher Report - #7 (-4)

The Saints' winning streak had to end eventually. New Orleans barely hung on last week, and these kinds of streaks tend to take a toll on teams and on players. The fact the Saints lost to the Los Angeles Rams doesn't bother me.

What does bother me is the fact the Saints, for the second week in a row, gave up some big plays in the pass game. The defense has been a big surprise this year, but it still has to prove it can make the big stops against playoff-caliber teams when it matters.

It didn't help, of course, that New Orleans was missing both starting corners.

It was also concerning to see the offense struggle against the Rams defense. Receivers struggled to get open, and the ground game wasn't nearly as effective as it has been for the majority of the season. If the Saints cannot lean on their offense, the defense isn't enough of a shut-down unit to carry games on its own.

I still think New Orleans is dangerous and is capable of winning a Super Bowl. The Saints didn't play their best football against L.A., though, and they're not great enough to beat a team like the Rams when they don't.

NFL - #6 (-1)

Maybe, in a prepping in December/calming things down kind of way, the loss at the L.A. Coliseumwas not such a bad deal. The Saints came in having won eight games in a row, setting a new Super Bowl-era mark for teams that started a season 0-2. They escaped the wily Redskins last week -- even the most ardent New Orleans fan with a Vaughan Johnson jersey and Fred McAfee bobblehead would admit that. Get the lumps out now. Sean Payton will have even more talking points in meetings this week (which should come with a post-loss edge), while the young players on the roster will be less prone to drinking their own Kool-Aid than if they'd only tasted winning from September to January.

Average Power Ranking Composite: #6 (-2)