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Saints Week 8 Power Rankings: Saints on outside looking in of Top 10s

The Saints are knocking on the door, but their ups and downs are still inspiring trepidation in analysts

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NFL: New Orleans Saints at Washington Football Team Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Say what you will about a messy 13-10 over the Seattle Seahawks on Monday, but the 4-2 New Orleans Saints managed to pick up their first winning streak of the season coming off of a bye week. It hasn’t been pretty, but a stingy defense mixed with, well, Alvin Kamara has made for a team that can at least stay competitive in nearly any game.

The Saints will have this put to the test on Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The game will be on nearly a national stage as the Game of the Week, and the Caesars Superdome on Halloween is always a spectacle. It will have to be with Tom Brady and the potent Bucs offense in town.

ESPN - #13 (From #14)

Rookie third-round draft pick Paulson Adebo hasn’t been perfect, but he has been impressive enough to hold up as the starter all season so far — even though the Saints traded next year’s third-round pick to acquire veteran Bradley Roby from the Houston Texans heading into Week 1. The Saints made no secret about their concern for the team’s cornerback depth behind Pro Bowler Marshon Lattimore this offseason. They even tried to trade up nearly 20 spots in Round 1 of the draft to fill the spot (to no avail). But Adebo has stepped up for a defense that has held up extremely well this year despite missing five starters from 2020. — Mike Triplett

USA Today - #12 (From #11)

Wasn’t pretty, but RB Alvin Kamara and Co. might just be a playoff team without retired QB Drew Brees. Kamara is the fastest player (66 games) to record 3,000 career yards both rushing and receiving.

CBS - #12 (From #9)

As they get healthier, they are getting better. The defense was dominant against Seattle. Now here comes Tom Brady.

NFL - #12 (From #12)

Drew Brees sat in with Peyton and Eli on ESPN’s Manning-cast on Monday night and you could tell the Saints legend was struggling to find the words as we watched the ever-erratic Jameis Winston run Brees’ old offense at Lumen Field. Winston wasn’t great, but luckily he had Alvin Kamara to carry the load. Kamara was the best player on the field, finishing with 10 catches, 179 yards of total offense and a touchdown. The Saints have never been so dependent on their superstar running back — take him out of the mix and it all falls apart.

Bleacher Report - #12 (From #12)

These are not the New Orleans Saints of old.

The 2021 New Orleans Saints do not pile up the style points on offense. Or the yards. The Saints entered Monday night’s soggy affair in Seattle averaging the fourth-fewest yards per game in the league. Of the Saints 304 total yards in a three-point victory, running back Alvin Kamara accounted for 179.

The 2021 Saints play punishing defense. Entering Monday night, the Saints were surrendering the second-fewest yards per game on the ground and the fourth-fewest points per game. Outside of one long pass to DK Metcalf, Seattle’s offense did next to nothing.

The 2021 Saints are also 4-2 and just one back in the loss column of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who visit the Superdome next week. That’s followed by another home tilt against the Atlanta Falcons and a trip to face the surging Tennessee Titans.

How that stretch goes will go a long way toward determining whether the Saints are just one of many teams hunting for one of three wild card spots or maybe an actual threat to the Buccaneers in the division.

Yahoo - #12 (From #13)

Demario Davis had one of the best games you’ll see from a linebacker on Monday night. The Seahawks stubbornly tried to keep running the ball and Davis wouldn’t allow it. He had 10 tackles, two sacks and broke up the Seahawks’ final fourth-down pass.

Sports Illustrated - #14 (From #13)

Not even Sean Payton can avoid lengthy stints on the Jameis-Coaster. There are going to be some incredibly strange Saints games this year, with Monday night serving as another example. That said, I’m not signing up to play them in a Wild Card game on a night where anything can happen.

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