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NFL Power Rankings: Where do the Saints lie ahead of Week 1?

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NFL: Preseason-Kansas City Chiefs at New Orleans Saints Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

With a three-week preseason schedule in the rear view, several outlets are releasing their power rankings heading into Week 1 of the 2023 NFL season.

The overall consensus surrounding the New Orleans Saints can be summarized into a three-letter word - “mid.” We’ll see how a Saints win or loss against the Tennessee Titans will affect their power rankings heading into Week 2 against the Carolina Panthers on September 18th.

ESPN - #13

“Coupling quarterback Derek Carr with a strong defense and the league’s easiest schedule makes New Orleans the favorite in a weak NFC South division.”

NFL - #16

“The year is 2023, and we’re still talking about Michael Thomas and Jimmy Graham in New Orleans. How wild is that? Graham is back with the Saints for the first time since 2014, and it’s a story few could have imagined after Graham didn’t play in the league last season. But of the two, I believe it’s Thomas who has the best chance to rewrite his career script — and also make the Saints contenders this season. His injury issues have been nearly unending since 2020, but Thomas just might be ready for another big season after three years of pain. If Derek Carr has enough weapons and time to throw, the Saints could reclaim the NFC South in what feels like a transition period in the division.”

USA Today (TouchdownWire) - #20

“The Saints have the best quarterback in the division, but outside of Derek Carr and receiver Chris Olave, there’s nothing I love about them. Their defense put up fantastic numbers last season, but it was largely against cupcake offenses (six games in the NFC South will help that a lot). They’ll be in the playoff race because of their weak division, but no one in their right mind believes that the Saints are a threat to make a deep playoff run.”

Bleacher Report- #18

“Replacing a Hall of Fame quarterback is no small feat—something the New Orleans Saints have found out the hard way the past two seasons. After two years of Jameis Winston, though, they will roll out Derek Carr under center in 2023. And while Carr is no Drew Brees, Moton thinks it’s an addition that could put the Saints over the top in a weak NFC South.

“The Saints should be the front-runners to win the NFC South division with their balanced roster,” he said. “New Orleans kept its core defenders from a unit that ranked ninth in scoring and fifth in total yards last season. Defensive end Cameron Jordan, linebacker Demario Davis and safety Tyrann Mathieu are established leaders on each level of the defense. Cornerbacks Marshon Lattimore and Alontae Taylor will make it difficult for passing attacks on the boundary.”

“This offseason, the Saints acquired quarterback Derek Carr, which is a move that should lead them to a home playoff game in January,” Moton added. “He isn’t a top-10 quarterback going into the 2023 season, but he’s far better than the signal-callers in his division.”

CBS - #19

“They have the tools to win the division, but age is creeping in at some spots. Getting Derek Carr does upgrade the quarterback spot, which is why they are favored to win the division.”

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