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Saints begin to inch higher in Week 9 Power Rankings

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New Orleans Saints v Chicago Bears Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

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 - #8 (+1)

Reason for optimism: Healing offense

Wide receiver Michael Thomas should finally return soon after being sidelined since Week 1 because of ankle and hamstring troubles and a team disciplinary issue. Fellow wideout Emmanuel Sanders also should be back soon from the reserve/COVID-19 list. In the meantime, the rest of the Saints’ offense has shown its resiliency during four straight come-from-behind wins (all of which included a two-minute-drill TD before halftime). Alvin Kamara has been the biggest key, leading the NFL with 987 yards from scrimmage in just seven games. — Mike Triplett

USA Today - #11 (-2)

In a nip-and-tuck season, they’ve won each of their last three games – all against middling competition – by a field goal. They’ll likely need more TDs and less of K Wil Lutz in Tampa.

CBS - #10 (+2)

They aren’t blowing teams out, but they are finding ways to win games. They need to get healthy on offense heading into this week’s big game with the Bucs.

NFL - #6 (+4)

Alvin Kamara continues to carry the Saints on offense. The do-it-all running back had 163 scrimmage yards in Sunday’s overtime win over the Bears, his third game with 150-plus scrimmage yards this season. Kamara’s abilities as a pass-catcher are especially vital for a shorthanded offense that was without Michael Thomas, Marquez Callaway and Emmanuel Sanders. Playing in his first game outdoors this season, Drew Brees struggled to complete downfield throws with his cast of replacement receivers. Brees’ arm strength has been a subject of obsession in the first half of this season — questions will persist after Sunday’s performance in Chicago. Brees and the offense will have a huge test Sunday night against the stacked Buccaneers.

Bleacher Report - #7 (+1)

Week 8 Result: Won at Chicago 26-23 (OT)

The New Orleans Saints appear to have figured it out. After a 1-2 start to the season, the Saints have peeled off four straight victories, with the latest being an overtime win in Chicago that helped them keep pace with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC South.

The win featured the usual suspects. Drew Brees passed for 280 yards and two scores with a passer rating of 109.8. Star running back Alvin Kamara mustered 163 total yards on 21 touches. And as has been the case in each of the Saints’ past three games, the contest was decided by a field goal.

Two of those games went to overtime, and linebacker Demario Davis said he has been impressed by the resiliency the Saints have shown this season.

“We kept swinging as a team,” he told reporters afterward. “So just proud of the team and the way that we were able to handle that, and go through that adversity.”

That resiliency will be put to the test Sunday night, when the Saints travel to face Tampa in a Week 1 rematch that could have a massive impact on the division race.

Yahoo - #8 (+3)

The Saints have won four straight by a combined 15 points, and all four wins are by six points or less. Three of the wins came against teams below .500 and the fourth came against a suspect Bears team. Are the Saints any good? We might find out against Tampa Bay in Week 9.

Sports Illustrated - #7 (+4)

The Saints held on for an OT win in the Windy City to set up this week’s division showdown. WR Michael Thomas hasn’t played for New Orleans since the opener, due to a combination of injuries and a one-game suspension for conduct detrimental to the team, and the thin receiving corps could use a boost.

Average Power Ranking Composite: #8 (+2)

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