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Saints power rankings: Week 12

Saints look to rise in power rankings following a win over the Rams.

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Los Angeles Rams v New Orleans Saints Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

The New Orleans Saints get back in the win column after defeating the defending champion Los Angeles Rams. This season has been a nightmare for the Rams, as they find themselves at 3-7 and now have to deal with injury issues concerning quarterback Matthew Stafford. The Saints improved to 4-7 on the back of Andy Dalton’s best game of the season. Dalton and the Saints offense answered every time they needed to and kept the Rams at bay throughout the second half. After bottoming out at an average rank of 26 last week, let see if the Saints move up at all after this win in the Superdome.

ESPN - #21 (From #24)

What/who is underachieving? Defensive backs

Defensive back was considered one of the Saints’ deepest positions in the offseason. But with the trade of C.J. Gardner-Johnson (now leading the league in interceptions), injuries to Marshon Lattimore (six missed games) and Bradley Roby (on IR), and disappointing results from free agent additions Marcus Maye and Tyrann Mathieu, this group hasn’t lived up to expectations. There are bright spots, such as the emergence of rookie Alontae Taylor. But this group — with just two team interceptions — and the defense as a whole haven’t performed as hoped. — Katherine Terrell

USA Today - #25 (From #29)

Bummer for DE Cam Jordan, whose orbital bone fracture forced him to miss the first game of his 12-year career due to an injury Sunday.

Los Angeles Rams v New Orleans Saints Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

CBS - #19 (From #24)

They kept their slim playoff hopes alive by beating the Rams. The offense actually showed some life with Andy Dalton.

NFL - #21 (From #23)

There will be no talk of a quarterback controversy in New Orleans this week. That might be as big a victory as the one the Saints got on the field Sunday, a 27-20 conquest over the Rams that all but extinguished any lingering playoff hopes for the defending champs. Andy Dalton threw three touchdown passes and posted a career-best passer rating of 149.6 in an outing that will quiet the Jameis Winston chatter for the time being. His top receiver was Chris Olave, who caught a long touchdown pass and went over 100 yards for the third time this season. The Offensive Rookie of the Year résumé is growing.

Bleacher Report - #21 (From #29)

The New Orleans Saints entered Week 11 mired in a massive funk. They had lost four of five and seven of nine. The offense was sputtering. The defense was leaky. The team was going nowhere fast.

One win over a reeling Rams team isn’t going to fix all that ails the Saints. But it at least offered a glimpse of what these Saints could be.

Rookie wide receiver Chris Olave had a big day, topping 100 receiving yards with a touchdown. Veteran slot receiver Jarvis Landry, who had missed most of the season, also found the end zone. Quarterback Andy Dalton threw three touchdown passes and posted a passer rating of almost 150.

It was one of the team’s best performances of the year, and head coach Dennis Allen told reporters the team cut it loose.

“We’re well aware of where we’re at in the season,” Allen said. “Our guys came out and they were swinging today. It was good to see.”

The problem for the Saints is it doesn’t really get them anywhere. The playoffs are the longest of long shots in 2022. The Saints don’t have a first-round pick next year. And the quarterback position remains a sizable question mark.

The Saints are neither good nor bad—and that can be a terrible place to be.

PFT - #24 (From #29)

They’re still alive, but they’re too inconsistent to stay that way.

Sporting News - #23 (From #26)

The Saints marched away with a key victory over the Rams to get a little more respect with their young offensive skill players coming up with big plays to help a well-shorthanded defense. They still need to find a true franchise QB despite another positive non-prime time result for Andy Dalton.

Average ranking: 22

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