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Saints Week 3 Power Rankings: Saints suffer drops across the board after being smothered by Panthers

After scrambling to crown the Saints in Week 1, Week 2 brought people back to Earth

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

The best way to describe the New Orleans Saints is to keep things very simple. In Week 1, they were extremely good in a 38-3 laugher over the Green Bay Packers. In Week 2, they were remarkably bad in a 26-7 walloping at the hands of the Carolina Panthers.

Power rankers don’t quite know what to do with the Saints. After many people put them in the Top 5 after Week 1, most have them in the late teens post Week 2. Only Sports Illustrated managed to show any kind of restraint after bumping them up to No. 12 post Week 1. Perhaps the Saints’ Week 3 matchup with the New England Patriots can shed some light onto what kind of team this ultimately is.

ESPN - #17 (From #9)

The Saints don’t have any worthy candidates for this category based on their Week 2 flop alone. But Johnson did at least catch a 23-yard pass on Sunday on the heels of his two-TD performance from Week 1. And he remains a sleeper option in the deepest of fantasy leagues and daily lineups because of his big-play potential. Johnson, who converted from WR to TE this offseason, flashed consistently throughout training camp and the preseason. — Mike Triplett

USA Today - #15 (From #5)

Their dichotomous 1-1 start perfectly reflects QB Jameis Winston’s Jekyll-and-Hyde mirror images. Coach Sean Payton better re-establish New Orleans’ identity quickly – including RB Alvin Kamara’s role – if this team is to remain playoff-caliber.

CBS - #13 (From #5)

That was a pathetic performance at Carolina. The offense looked lifeless. Maybe the travel and being displaced caught up to them, but now they have a tough trip to New England.

NFL - #19 (From #9)

In Week 1, the Saints delivered a sublime performance that made you reconsider their ceiling in a post-Drew Brees world. On Sunday, they delivered a titanic dud that returns the team to the murky middle of the NFL. Dealing with a COVID-19 breakout and injuries at several key positions, the Saints were non-competitive in a 26-7 loss to the upstart Panthers. Jameis Winston threw two grisly interceptions that recalled his lowest moments in Tampa, while New Orleans’ offense managed just 128 yards ... total. In Week 1, the Saints dropped a Bury The Ball Game on the Packers. On Monday, it was their turn to pick up the shovel.

Bleacher Report - #19 (From #10)

So, um, about the Saints.

New Orleans is the poster team for the perils of reading too much into a single game. After annihilating the Green Bay Packers in Week 1, the Saints looked like a team that could easily make it back to the playoffs despite Drew Brees’ retirement.

In Week 2, they did not.

After throwing for five touchdowns without a single interception against the Packers, Saints quarterback Jameis Winston came crashing back to earth against the Panthers. Against Carolina, Winston completed just half of his 22 pass attempts for a meager 111 yards. He also fell back to the old turnover trap, throwing a pair of interceptions.

The Saints were quite simply dominated in this game from start to finish. The Panthers came up one yard shy of tripling New Orleans’ offensive output of 128 yards. The Saints allowed four sacks and gained just 2.8 yards a carry on the ground.

“That didn’t last long, did it? New Orleans had a magical Week 1 experience, but the reality is this is a flawed team that has bled talent in recent offseasons, and Winston is a flawed quarterback who will have just as many ugly days as pretty days,” Gagnon said. “I get the feeling this season is going to be a roller-coaster ride for the Saints.”

Yahoo - #18 (From #5)

Hard to remember the last team that had such a big drop from one week to another. It’s arguable the Saints were the NFL’s best team in Week 1 and its worst in Week 2. Six first downs, 128 yards? How can you reconcile that with what we saw in the opener against the Packers?

Sports Illustrated - #18 (From #12)

So which team are they? The one that demolished the Packers 38–3 or the one that got six first downs and only one score against the Panthers? Probably somewhere in the middle.


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