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New Orleans Saints dip in Week 2 Power Rankings despite win

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NFL: Cleveland Browns at New Orleans Saints Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Week 2 of the NFL regular season is now in the books. Here are all of the major outlets’ power rankings. So how do the New Orleans Saints rank? (change from the previous week are in parentheses)

ESPN - #9 (+/-)

Michael Thomas has 28 catches, the most through the first two games in team history. The previous high for the Saints in the first two tilts was 18, by Tony Galbreath in 1978, Darren Sproles in 2012 and Jimmy Graham in 2014.

USA Today - #12 (-3)

They were fortunate to avert another 0-2 start by splitting homestand, but must endure playing five of next seven away from Superdome.

CBS - #15 (-1)

They haven’t looked like a Super Bowl team in either game. They better this week against the Falcons in Atlanta.

NFL - #12 (+/-)

Welp, Dennis Allen’s defense came up big when it had to ... Cam Jordan said his crew was going to play a heckuva lot better in Week 2 than in Week 1, when Ryan Fitzpatrick zapped them into submission. The big play came on a Marcus Williams pick late in the fourth quarter, which went down as the Saints’ first takeaway of the season. On the ensuing drive, after failing to convert on second-and-short, Alvin Kamara got it done on third-and-short following a Browns timeout. Before the Kamara conversion, Sean Payton wanted to run a read option with Taysom Hill, but Cleveland DC Gregg Williams called timeout to adjust his forces. So what’s the point of this mid-Power Rankings diatribe? If suspended RB Mark Ingram had been available, the entire offense would have looked, felt and called plays differently, especially in these situations. But who cares when you have Michael Thomas, right?

SB Nation - #14 (-3)

Bleacher Report - #13 (-2)

Things very nearly got extremely dicey for the Saints in Week 2.

For most of the game, the Saints trailed a Cleveland Browns team that hasn’t won a game since December 2016—at home. The Saints were outgained by the Browns, 327-275. The Saints lost the turnover battle and allowed Drew Brees to be sacked three times.

Were they playing any team in the NFL but Cleveland (or maybe Buffalo), the Saints would have lost this game and fallen to 0-2 for the fifth consecutive year.

New Orleans escaped, but Davenport still feels the Saints should be more than a little concerned:

”This was a team that was supposed to be a Super Bowl front-runner in 2018. Instead, it very nearly dropped a second straight home game to a tomato can. The offense was erratic Sunday. The defense was lousy for a second straight week. This team has a lot of work to do if it’s going to realize those championship expectations this year. A lot.”

However, Gagnon’s more optimistic.

”The Saints are notoriously slow starters, having lost each of their last nine Week 1 and Week 2 games prior to Sunday’s victory over the Browns,” he wrote. “So I’m looking at the glass half-full. The offense lit it up in Week 1 and the defense was impressive in Week 2. I get the feeling they’ll put it all together more often than not this season.”

Yahoo - #16 (-3)

I actually think less of the Saints than I did before they won in Week 2. That was an awful performance, and everyone in New Orleans should send a thank-you note to former Browns kicker Zane Gonzalez. The Saints have looked terrible twice this season, first on defense and then on offense. There’s enough talent for a major improvement, and Sean Payton is a good coach, but this start to the season has been bad. They’re lucky to be 1-1 after the easiest two-game stretch of their schedule.

Average Power Ranking Composite: #13 (-2)