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 13 win against the Carolina Panthers.
ESPN - #7 (-1)
Alvin Kamara has more than 600 rushing yards and 600 receiving yards this season, and ranks second in the NFL in total yards from scrimmage (1,220). He's just the second Saints rookie to score 10 or more touchdowns, joining George Rogers in 1981 (13).
CBS - #6 (+1)
Yahoo - #6 (+/-)
It’s hard to imagine having a better draft than the Saints had this season. Their top four picks, cornerback Marshon Lattimore, offensive tackle Ryan Ramczyk, safety Marcus Williams and running back Alvin Kamara, are all starting and playing very well (a fifth, linebacker Alex Anzalone, was starting before he suffered a season-ending injury). Lattimore and Kamara are clear favorites to win offensive and defensive rookie of the year. The only team in NFL history to have offensive and defensive rookies of the year in the same season was the 1967 Detroit Lions. Kamara is part of perhaps the best 1-2 punch at running back in at least 30 years. That’s how you instantly change the trajectory of your franchise.
Bleacher Report - #5 (+2)
The Saints match up well with other NFC contenders like the Panthers. If there's one thing to question, though, it's New Orleans' secondary. Can it match up against the elite passing attacks in the NFC if Marshon Lattimore isn't there? I wouldn't call Carolina's passing attack elite, but I would say that about the Rams' pass game, and the Rams carved up the Saints two weeks ago.
Regardless, the Saints defense is better than we've seen in years past.
The strength of this team is the offense. Brees, of course, is a future Hall of Famer. When the Saints can run the ball like they did against Carolina, they're almost unstoppable offensively. The way Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram run the ball is incredible, but they're also an asset in the pass game. That makes it hard to match up with either one of them.
When Brees and Sean Payton know they have a mismatch, they're quick to exploit it.
I'm not sure the Saints are on the level of the Eagles, but they're in the conversation for being the second-best team in the conference.
NFL - #6 (+/-)
This Thursday in Atlanta looms large in the specter of the Saints' season, one that could end up being the franchise's second Super Bowl campaign. In order to get to Minnesota in February, winning the NFC South and grabbing one of the first-round bye's is key. With the Eagles traveling west to face the stubborn Rams, and the Vikings set to visit the Panthers, New Orleans could have an opening. If the Saints can beat Atlanta on this short week, they'll return home with momentum to face the Jets and Falcons before closing out the season in Tampa Bay. Basically, 13-3 is doable for Sean Payton's group. #whodat
Average Power Ranking Composite: #6 (=/-)