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Saints begin slow climb in Week 5 Power Rankings

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New Orleans Saints v Detroit Lions Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

A win over the Detroit Lions can go a long way. 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 (+1)

FPI chance to make playoffs: 70.8%

Seventy percent feels a tad optimistic, considering the Saints’ lackluster start to the season. But they would actually be the final wild-card team in the NFC if the season ended today, and they have a critical head-to-head win over the division-rival Buccaneers under their belt. And the Saints are bound to get better after WR Michael Thomas and other key players return from injuries, right? The Saints are less of a sure thing than they appeared to be one month ago. But this remains one of the most talented and proven rosters in the league. — Mike Triplett

USA Today - #14 (+/-)

Evidently, alarmist reports deeming QB Drew Brees’ right arm dead were premature ... at least that’s how I’m interpreting Next Gen Stats.

CBS - #12 (+4)

That might have been a season-saving victory on the road against the Lions. The offense came to life in a big way.

NFL - #11 (+3)

New Orleans entered Week 4 missing six injured starters while enduring the team-wide drama of a COVID-19 scare that led to the Saints not learning the point-of-care test results until 3 a.m. the morning of Sunday’s 1 p.m. ET kickoff against the Lions. Despite formidable obstacles, the Saints got it done between the lines, reeling off five unanswered touchdown drives to wipe out an early two-touchdown deficit in an eventual 35-29 win. Alvin Kamara — football’s best running back — had 119 yards from scrimmage and his league-best seventh total touchdown and Drew Brees averaged nearly 10 yards per attempt in a day of vintage efficiency. The Saints also cut down on penalties — a major issue during their slow start — charged with just four in the win. A weird, ultimately successful, weekend.

Bleacher Report - #7 (+1)

Week 4 Result: Won at Detroit 35-29

After dropping two games in a row, there was some murmuring about the 2020 Saints—murmurs that grew louder when the Saints fell behind the Lions 14-0 Sunday afternoon.

Thirty-five unanswered points put a stop to that—at least for now.

As has been the case since Michael Thomas went down with a high ankle sprain, the engine that powered the Saints offense was running back Alvin Kamara. Kamara’s stats weren’t quite as gaudy as the past couple of games, but he did rack up 119 total yards and find the end zone.

It was a badly needed win that both stopped the Saints’ skid and kept them a game back of the division-leading Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

But the Saints still don’t like the dominant team that won 13 games last year. After peeling off those 35 points, the Saints let the Lions back in with 15 unanswered. Fortunately, the next three games on the slate appear winnable before a Nov. 8 trip to Tampa.

Yahoo - #14 (+/-)

At 14-0 less than five minutes into the game at Detroit, it seemed the Saints were in serious trouble. Not just for Sunday, but for the season. That was a rally that might have saved New Orleans’ season (especially with Tampa Bay at 3-1).

Sports Illustrated - #12 (-4)

I’m cautiously optimistic on where the Saints are coming out of Detroit, with Tre’Quan Smith and Emmanuel Sanders emerging as legit options for Drew Brees in the passing game, which is exactly what he needed.

Average Power Ranking Composite: #11 (+1)

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.