A win is a win, right? Here are all of the major outlets’ power rankings. So how do the New Orleans Saints rank? (Change from each week will be in parentheses.)
ESPN - #9 (+/-)
Biggest weakness: Penalties
The Saints lead the NFL in total penalty yards and defensive penalties — including a whopping 11 pass interference flags for a total of 244 yards heading into Monday night’s game. You would think that’s an area they could clean up. But it consistently plagued them throughout the first month of the season, with at least two penalties each by starters Marshon Lattimore, Janoris Jenkins and Marcus Williams. And it has helped to turn their talented secondary into a question mark instead of a strength early this season. — Mike Triplett
USA Today - #12 (+2)
It hasn’t been pretty, but they’re technically back in control of NFC South. So why mull moving home games to Baton Rouge? Is such a disruption really worth it to pro players? And it’s not like Tiger Stadium has been working for LSU this year ...
CBS - #12 (+2)
They were able to rally against the Chargers, but this team hasn’t looked like a Super Bowl team yet. The defense has too many issues for that.
NFL - #11 (+1)
Can we officially pause the funeral procession on the career of Drew Brees now? The early portion of this season has featured endless hand-wringing over the veteran QB and his inability to attack defenses with deep throws (as if that was ever the heartbeat of his game), but on Monday night, we saw how Brees can still move an offense when it matters. Brees went over 300 yards passing and accounted for two touchdowns as New Orleans wiped out a 17-point second-quarter deficit en route to a 30-27 overtime win over the Chargers. Brees has found his rhythm with Emmanuel Sanders, and the eventual return ofMichael Thomas (assuming he can cease punching teammates in the face) will make the Saints’ attack that much stronger.
Bleacher Report - #10 (-3)
Week 5 Result: Won vs. Los Angeles Chargers 30-27 (OT)
The NFL is all about results. And when Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore brought down Chargers wideout Mike Williams inches short of a first down in overtime, the New Orleans Saints secured a win that got Drew Brees and Co. back above .500.
But there’s still plenty to be concerned about in the Big Easy.
Offensively, the Saints couldn’t get going in the first half, falling into a 20-3 hole. Brees eventually warmed up, but New Orleans clearly misses wide receiver Michael Thomas in a big way.
The defense is where the worries really reside.
Against a Chargers team that was led by a rookie quarterback and didn’t have it’s top running back or No. 1 wide receiver, the Saints allowed 27 points and 350 yards of offense. Justin Herbert set a rookie record for Monday Night Football with four touchdown passes.
The Saints were burned over and over again on deep throws, including one that very nearly cost them the game at the end of regulation.
“I picked the Saints to win Super Bowl LV before the season,” Davenport said. “But the way they’re playing defensively right now, there’s no chance this team will even get to Tampa. Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson will have a field day with this secondary.”
Yahoo - #14 (+/-)
The Saints made some big plays in the fourth quarter and overtime, and credit them for getting a close win. But it’s impossible to have watched this Saints team five times and believe they’re a legitimate Super Bowl contender. There’s still plenty of talent, especially when Michael Thomas returns, but New Orleans is going to have to play a lot better going forward.
Sports Illustrated - #8 (+4)
Michael Thomas should return after the bye week as long as he stops punching people. While they might not be the record-setting offense of the last few seasons, Drew Brees distributing to Thomas and Alvin Kamara will produce its fair share of points. The concern is a defensive backfield that hasn’t added up to the sum of its parts through five games.
Average Power Ranking Composite: #11 (+/-)
Do you agree with these rankings? Let us know in the comments. Make sure you follow Canal Street Chronicles on Twitter at @SaintsCSC, “Like” us on Facebook at Canal Street Chronicles, and make sure you’re subscribed to our new YouTube channel. As always, you can follow me on Twitter @ChrisDunnells.