Here’s how the five major power rankings view the New Orleans Saints heading into Week 8.
“Young riser: S Jordan Howden
The rookie safety started two of the three games that Marcus Maye was suspended for, missing one game to have finger surgery. He already has become part of the rotation in a deep backfield and has shown a lot of promise for the future. In a 34-0 shutout of the Patriots, he had two pass deflections in his second start even though his hand was still healing. — Katherine Terrell”
“The Saints’ fourth-quarter flourish shouldn’t make anyone assume their offensive issues are fixed. It took too long for New Orleans to find any consistent rhythm against the Jaguars, and the story for most of Thursday’s game — just as it was four days earlier, in Week 6 — was that Derek Carr and his pass catchers seemingly operate on different wavelengths too often. New Orleans went 0-for-3 in the red zone against the Texans and 3-for-18 on third down against the Jaguars. Carr and Chris Olave especially can’t seem to get in a groove. Olave is roughly on the same production pace as he was in his rookie year, but he’s only caught 17 of his past 36 targets. That can’t continue. To make matters worse, Olave was arrested for reckless operation of a motor vehicle on Monday.”
“The good news is that the New Orleans Saints finally started scoring touchdowns instead of kicking field goals Thursday against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The bad news is that by the time they started doing so they were down 15 points. And the score that could have tied the game was dropped by tight end Foster Moreau.
That’s the 2023 Saints in a nutshell. New Orleans isn’t a bad team. There’s skill-position talent such as wideout Chris Olave and running back Alvin Kamara, plus a decent offensive line. And it has the NFL’s sixth-ranked defense.
However, whether it’s a play they have to have or a stop they can’t get, the Saints are coming up just short far too often.
The Saints are still very much in the running in the NFC South, although that says more about the division than the team. But they have to start putting more complete efforts together—or they won’t be for long.”
“The offense is so limited right now with Derek Carr not playing well. He points a lot of fingers at others, but he’s a big part of the problem.”
“Derek Carr can air out his teammates all he wants, but it’s worth noting his TD pass rate (2.4%), yards per pass attempt (6.3) and QB rating (82.8) are all at their lowest levels since his rookie season in 2014.”