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Saints inch higher in Week 11 Power Rankings, despite injury to Drew Brees

The Saints lost their quarterback, but they’re still one of the NFL’s best.

San Francisco 49ers v New Orleans Saints Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The team won - but at what cost? 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 - #4 (+1)

What would they take back: Their coverage on Allen Lazard in Week 3

I’m getting specific here since it’s hard to argue with much of the Saints’ offseason personnel decisions. (They were hoping first-round pick Cesar Ruiz would develop faster at right guard, but that position was still a big need.) So I’ll let their defense hit the reset button on a Week 3 loss to Green Bay that could wind up having major playoff seeding implications. The Saints’ secondary got off to a slow start this season with some inexplicable coverage busts — including two deep passes of 72 and 48 yards they gave up to Lazard. They would love a do-over after cleaning up those issues in recent weeks. — Mike Triplett

USA Today - #3 (+/-)

What a show of guts by QB Drew Brees to finish the first half Sunday with his myriad injuries and later conduct a press conference with a collapsed lung. Baller.

CBS - #3 (+1)

The Drew Brees injury situation bears watching for the long term. He will be out for a bit, but they can get by with Jameis Winston in the short term.

NFL - #3 (+/-)

The Saints got three more Alvin Kamara touchdowns in a 27-13 win over the 49ers on Sunday, but the big concern after the game surrounded Drew Brees, who missed the second half after getting rocked on a clean (but still absurdly penalized) hit by San Francisco defensive end Kentavius Street. On Monday, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported that Brees entered Week 10 with at least one cracked rib, and suffered multiple broken ribs and a lung issue during the game. The Saints hope Brees will avoid IR, but we now take tentative steps into a world where Jameis Winston is at the reins of one of the best teams in football. It’s about to get weird.

Bleacher Report - #4 (+/-)

Week 10 Result: Won 27-13 vs. San Francisco

Of the 14 teams that notched a win in Week 10, there’s little question that the New Orleans Saints are the least happy.

Yes, the Saints got their sixth consecutive win to stay atop the NFC South. But that win may have come at a high cost.

After completing only eight passes for 76 yards, quarterback Drew Brees was forced from the game with a rib injury. He’s since been diagnosed with multiple rib fractures and a collapsed lung, per ESPN’s Ed Werder, putting his availability moving forward into question.

The Saints don’t play a team with a winning record again until Week 15 against the Kansas City Chiefs. But the Buccaneers are lurking just behind them in the division, and Jameis Winston didn’t play especially well in relief of Brees on Sunday.

“The Saints are finding ways to win,” Sobleski wrote. “Over the last two weeks, New Orleans dismantled the rival Tampa Bay Buccaneers before coming back against a depleted San Francisco 49ers squad. An argument can be made in the Saints’ favor of being the NFC’s best. However, Brees missing extended time with his rib and lung injuries could radically change their current standing.”

Yahoo - #4 (+1)

The jokes about Jameis Winston’s interceptions will start as he presumably replaces injured Drew Brees for a while. But Winston isn’t just a turnover machine; he can also make plays. It will be an adjustment for New Orleans, going from the steady Brees to the Winston roller coaster.

Sports Illustrated - #3 (+1)

Can New Orleans stay afloat with Jameis Winston at the helm? I say they can. Because the Saints haven’t been overly reliant on the position in general this year, even with Drew Brees in there.

Average Power Ranking Composite: #3 (+1)


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