Week 15 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 (+1)
Oddly enough, the Saints’ defense has carried the team more than the offense has for much of the season. Then it was a total role reversal in Sunday’s 48-46 loss to the 49ers, with the offense finally exploding while the defense collapsed. But the Saints’ greatest strength is their overall balance. They also have the highest-graded special-teams units by far in FPI’s rankings. Punter Thomas Morstead and place-kicker Wil Lutz might have the best pair of legs in the league. -- Mike Triplett
USA Today - #3 (-1)
Drew Brees needs three TD passes Sunday to break Peyton Manning’s career record (539) this season in front of New Orleans faithful.
CBS - #7 (-4)
What has happened to the defense the past month? It was awful against the 49ers. They have to fix that.
NFL - #4 (+/-)
If someone told you the Saints would score 46 points against the 49ers’ top-ranked defense on Sunday at the Superdome, you’d be smart to assume a blowout. Instead, the Saints lost the game -- and their grip on the No. 1 seed in the NFC -- because their defense had no answers for Jimmy Garoppolo and the Niners’ attack in a 48-46 loss. New Orleans’ D had a chance to salvage a difficult afternoon in the final minute, after Drew Brees (brilliant all afternoon) threw his fifth touchdown pass to put the Saints ahead with 53 seconds to play. But Garoppolo marched San Francisco into field-goal range on a seven-play drive, which was capped by Robbie Gould’s game-winner as time expired. The Saints already have the NFC South title and home playoff game that comes with it, but a path to the No. 1 seed now requires outside help. This was a shootout loss with potentially huge ramifications.
Bleacher Report - #5 (-1)
Week 14 Result: Lost vs. San Francisco 48-46
Sunday at the Superdome, the New Orleans Saints had an opportunity to stake their claim as the team to beat in the NFC.
Instead, the 2019 NFC South champions watched Robbie Gould punch through a game-winning field goal after a combination of a long pass to tight end George Kittle and a boneheaded facemask penalty put the Niners in field-goal range.
It was the culmination of a day best forgotten for the Saints defensively. The offense did its part in Week 14—465 yards of offense and 46 points. But the defense was shredded, allowing over 500 yards.
The Saints remain an excellent team that has the sort of combination of talent, experience and balance that can propel a team to a Super Bowl win. But this loss could have major implications on playoff seeding—as things stand, the Saints would have to play on Wild Card Weekend after falling behind the Green Bay Packers and into the No. 3 slot in the NFC.
Yahoo - #3 (+1)
Sunday’s loss wasn’t ideal but as long as the Saints win out they can still get the No. 1 seed. They’ll be huge Seahawks fans in Week 17 — New Orleans has the tiebreaker over Seattle but not San Francisco — but they can still get exactly what they want out of the regular season.
Sports Illustrated - #3 (+3)
The Saints lost a tight one in the game of the day but can rest easier knowing they erased a nine-point fourth quarter deficit with the NFC South long in the bag. However, they also coughed up a 13-point lead at home as the defense surrendered its most points of the season against a team New Orleans will probably need to beat down the road.