The 2019 regular season is in the books and we’re gearing up for the postseason. So how do the New Orleans Saints rank in the first postseason power rankings? (change from last week’s ranking is in parentheses)
ESPN - #3 (-1)
Most notable 2010s event: Winning Super Bowl XLIV, Feb. 7, 2010
This one barely fits into the decade, but the Saints haven’t been able to top the only Super Bowl win in franchise history -- a 31-17 victory over the Colts that included Sean Payton’s legendary surprise onside kick to start the second half and Tracy Porter’s pick-six of Peyton Manning to seal the game. Payton and Drew Brees have led the Saints back to the playoffs six more times since but haven’t gotten back to the Super Bowl yet, thanks to some gut-wrenching playoff losses that included the no-call in last year’s NFC Championship Game and the “Minneapolis Miracle.” -- Mike Triplett
USA Today - #3 (-1)
Recent playoff hexes already becoming a topic du jour. Surely Sean Payton will loop clips of “Minneapolis Miracle” this week ...
CBS - #5 (+2)
They have the offense to beat anybody. The big question will be the defense in the playoffs.
NFL - #2 (+/-)
The Saints deserve better than the No. 3 seed. Sean Payton’s team took care of their business in decisive fashion on Sunday, building a 35-0 first-half lead in an unholy blowout of the early-vacationing Panthers. The Saints averaged 40 points per game over the final four weeks of the season, humming on offense with the kind of precision we haven’t seen since last season. It makes you wonder if bringing in Antonio Brown for a workout last week was a move made solely to freak out NFC playoff teams already intimidated by the Saints’ overwhelming attack. First up is the Vikings, a team that seems to be stumbling at the same time the Saints are reaching full flight. Throw in an all-time Revenge Game opportunity ( Minneapolis Miracle, anyone?), and Saints fans are right to feel confident about their team right about now.
Bleacher Report - #4 (+1)
Week 17 Result: Won at Carolina 42-10
It’s understandable if the New Orleans Saints are a little cheesed right now. On Sunday, they stomped a mudhole you could drive a bus through into the Carolina Panthers for their 13th win of the season.
Their reward for that? The Saints have to play at home against the Minnesota Vikings this weekend. If you don’t think that’s important, consider this: In the 17 years of the present playoff format, 26 of the 34 Super Bowl teams had a bye on wild-card weekend.
Still, while the Saints may have to play an extra game, they remain a team more than capable of representing a stacked NFC in Miami. They have Michael Thomas, the most prolific receiver in terms of single-season catches in NFL history. After sitting on one rushing touchdown for much of the season, Alvin Kamara has four over the past two weeks.
We also hear Drew Brees is pretty good.
The talent isn’t confined to the offense, either. Defensive end Cameron Jordan, linebacker Demario Davis and cornerback Marshon Lattimore are all difference-makers.
The Saints are talented, balanced, well-coached and quite possibly angry about having to play in the wild-card round.
They certainly looked mad against the Panthers.
Yahoo - #3 (+/-)
Has there ever been a better team to play on the first weekend? To go 13-3 and not even get a bye is crazy. The Saints can still make a run but it’s so much tougher.
Sports Illustrated - #3 (-1)
The Saints have been on a mission all year to avenge the blown call in the NFC championship game, and right now they’re playing as well as anyone in the conference.