Week 3 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 - #9 (-6)
Pleasant surprise: Third-year DE Trey Hendrickson has carried his impressive summer performance into the regular season. He has three sacks and a forced fumble (which should have led to a touchdown return by teammate Cameron Jordan in Week 2 if the officials hadn’t initially ruled it an incomplete pass). The Saints’ defensive line depth was arguably the biggest question mark heading into this season, so Hendrickson’s emergence is coming at a time when it is much needed. -- Mike Triplett
USA Today - #14 (-10)
Be interesting to see if QB Teddy Bridgewater can approach his once-upon-a-time Pro Bowl form, or if Taysom Hill is a better Brees fill-in.
CBS - #9 (-3)
With Drew Brees gone for at least six weeks with a thumb injury, the Saints are in big trouble. They have to hope Teddy Bridgewater can go at least .500 against a tough schedule.
NFL - #16 (-12)
Sunday started as an opportunity for some sweet revenge on the Rams after January’s infamous NFC Championship Game officiating fiasco. Instead, the Saints find themselves in crisis after Drew Brees suffered a thumb injury that will require surgery and at least six weeks of recovery time. Sean Payton now turns to Teddy Bridgewater to keep the Saints afloat. The trepidation here for New Orleans stems from the fact that Bridgewater did not look overly sharp against the Rams and failed to inspire confidence in his lone Saints start, a Week 17 loss last December. He’ll need to be better, but you get the feeling with Payton and the skill players around him, the former first-round pick will make enough plays to keep the team competitive until Brees returns. If not, we might just see intriguing utility man Taysom Hill get his shot. Speaking of Bridgewater, you think he’s happy he turned down the Dolphins starting job to stay on as the backup with the Saints?
Bleacher Report - #10 (-7)
Here at the Bleacher Report NFL power rankings, we do not believe in curses. It’s superstitious hooey.
Except in the case of the New Orleans Saints, who are absolutely cursed.
In 2017, the season ended with the “Minnesota Miracle.” The 2018 campaign ended in the heartbreak of the worst non-call in postseason history. And the 2019 season didn’t even make it to October before fate thumbed the Saints right into the toilet.
The moment Drew Brees left the field, unable to even grip a football after hitting his throwing hand while following through on a first-quarter pass, any chance the Saints had of repping the NFC in the Super Bowl evaporated. Per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, Brees will miss at least six weeks with a torn ligament in his thumb.
Teddy Bridgewater isn’t taking the Saints to Miami unless he buys everyone a ticket. With Bridgewater under center, the Saints may miss the postseason altogether. He may be one of the highest-paid backups in the league, but he didn’t play well against the Rams.
It’s a devastating blow that leaves the Saints in tatters—and makes the Falcons the team to beat in the NFC South.
Yahoo - #13 (-10)
Teddy Bridgewater is a great story and he’s easy to root for. But the legend of Bridgewater outpaces the results. Sure, he played well for the Jets in the 2017 preseason. He hasn’t played great in a small sample size for the Saints, and that includes this preseason. His signature season was 2015, when he had 14 touchdowns in 16 games for the Vikings. This is a huge stretch for Bridgewater. He needs to play well with a lot of talent around him and Sean Payton calling plays.
Sports Illustrated - #17 (-13)
Saints plummet 13 places, as our voters express limited faith in Teddy Bridgewater (and Taysom Hill?) filling in for Drew Brees.