Week 10 of the NFL regular season is almost upon us. Here are all of the major outlets’ power rankings. So how do the New Orleans Saints rank? (change from last week’s ranking is in parentheses)
ESPN - #3 (+/-)
Scary trend: Lack of production from receivers not named Michael Thomas
Thomas has been a one-man wrecking crew for the Saints again this year -- but it’s the “one-man” part that remains a little unsettling. His NFL-leading 73 catches are 43 more than anyone else on New Orleans’ roster. And he has 579 more receiving yards than anyone on the team. The Saints need a second-half surge from TE Jared Cook and WRs Ted Ginn Jr. and Tre’Quan Smith, among others, to avoid the offensive drop-off they suffered late last season. -- Mike Triplett
USA Today - #1 (+1)
Very productive bye week as RB Alvin Kamara and TE Jared Cook got needed rest, and New Orleans’ hold on first-round bye strengthened with team entering three-week blitz through NFC South.
CBS - #2 (+1)
They come off their bye with a division game against the Falcons and a healthier Drew Brees. That’s always a good thing.
NFL - #2 (+1)
The Saints hit their Week 9 bye on a six-game winning streak, with confirmation they have one of the deepest teams in football. We saw that at quarterback, where Drew Brees was lost to injury and Teddy Bridgewater went 5-0 when called upon. And we saw it again at running back, where Latavius Murray filled in for a banged-up Alvin Kamara and piled up four total touchdowns and 221 rushing yards in Weeks 7 and 8, the second-highest total in football in that span. A common thread in those two groups? The offensive line, which remains a major strength in New Orleans. Terron Armstead, Ryan Ramczyk, Andrus Peat, Larry Warford and rookie center Erik McCoy have been a wall of dependability, the ”Big Homies,” as Bridgewater calls them. The Sean Payton Saints have always prioritized O-line development and continuity -- it’s incredible how many teams fail to grasp this basic tenet of team-building.
Bleacher Report - #2 (+/-)
You can’t say enough about how well the New Orleans Saints played over the first half of the season.
It’s not surprising that they are in first place in the NFC South. They entered 2019 as the favorites in the division and one of the leading candidates to represent their conference in Super Bowl LIV.
But they played five of their first eight games without superstar quarterback Drew Brees and two contests without starting tailback Alvin Kamara.
They didn’t miss a beat.
Teddy Bridgewater threw nine touchdown passes against just two interceptions in Brees’ stead, winning all five of his starts. In his first season in New Orleans, running back Latavius Murray has averaged 4.5 yards a carry and peeled off 100-yard rushing games in both of the contests Kamara missed.
It’s a testament to the players—who rallied with Brees out—and to the coaches, who held things together while undermanned.
Now the Saints should come out of their bye at full strength (or close to it) and be poised to make a run over the second half.
Yahoo - #1 (+1)
On Dec. 8, the 49ers play the Saints in the Superdome. That might be the game of the 2019 regular season.
Sports Illustrated - #2 (+1)
A well-timed bye should allow Drew Brees to be fully up to speed for Atlanta this weekend. The Falcons’ defense has been a delight for opposing quarterbacks this season.