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Saints get slight bump in Week 4 power rankings

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NFL: New Orleans Saints at Seattle Seahawks Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Week 4 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 - #7 (+2)

What we got wrong: That Jared Cook would boost the Saints’ passing attack as a much-needed No. 3 option.

To be fair, Cook is third on the Saints with 12 targets. But he has only five catches for 69 yards with zero TDs and three drops. Perhaps there will be better days to come for the athletic veteran, but it’s going to be hard to expect consistent production -- especially since fill-in QB Teddy Bridgewater seems more inclined to hone in on Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara than Drew Brees was. -- Mike Triplett

USA Today - #8 (+6)

They looked awfully tough in Seattle, reclaiming one-game division lead. Appears they’ve got what it takes to survive until Drew Brees is back.

CBS - #9 (+/-)

You have to give coach Sean Payton a ton of a credit for winning at Seattle with a backup quarterback. That’s not easy to do, but here comes the Cowboys.

NFL - #10 (+6)

My apologies to the Saints. Yes, they lost Drew Brees to a thumb injury in Week 2, but this team goes well beyond one star. That was apparent Sunday in Seattle, where Sean Payton’s team delivered a complete effort in a 33-27 win that was not nearly as competitive as the final score indicates. New Orleans scored on a 53-yard punt return, and a fumble recovery -- kudos to the officials for not blowing the play dead prematurely, an error that killed the Saints a week earlier. Teddy Bridgewater started slowly but came on as the game progressed, and Alvin Kamara looked like the best player on the field every time the ball was in his hands. The Saints need Drew Brees to win the Super Bowl. But they can survive -- and possibly even thrive -- without their star quarterback if they continue to put together complete efforts like we saw against the Seahawks.

Bleacher Report - #6 (+4)

Reports of the demise of the New Orleans Saints may have been greatly exaggerated.

After Drew Brees injured his hand in last week’s loss to the Los Angeles Rams, more than a few people wrote off the Saints as Super Bowl contenders. It wasn’t unreasonable—losing a Hall of Fame quarterback is a massive blow and then some.

But after downing the Seattle Seahawks in a game that wasn’t as close as the final score indicated—in a true team effort that included a defensive touchdown and special teams score, no less—the Teddy Bridgewater-led Saints are right back in the driver’s seat in the NFC South.

”The Saints showed they’re still one of the NFC’s best teams without Drew Brees,” Sobleski wrote. “Sunday’s 33-27 victory over the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field was the weekend’s most impressive. The formula is rather simple to keep the team rolling until Brees returns: Play fundamentally sound defense, get the ball into Alvin Kamara’s hands, and let Teddy Bridgewater play efficient football within the scheme.”

Yahoo - #10 (+3)

All things considered, Sunday was probably Alvin Kamara’s finest NFL moment. He had 16 of New Orleans’ 23 rushing attempts for 69 yards and a touchdown. He was targeted on 10 of Teddy Bridgewater’s 27 throws and caught nine for 92 yards and a touchdown. The Saints needed someone to step up big with Drew Brees out, and Kamara answered the call.

Sports Illustrated - #8 (+9)

After N.O. plunged to 17 last week, a big win on the road at Seattle reassured our voters, pushing Teddy Bridgewater and friends way back up the rankings.

Average Power Ranking Composite: #8 (+3)