Thursday, September 24, 2020

New Orleans Saints Week 3 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2020 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Here is where the New Orleans Saints rank in terms of average, best and worst:

  • Average ranking: 8.2 (7th)
  • Best ranking: 5th (ESPN)
  • Worst ranking: 11th (CBS Sports)

Below you will find a Week 3 roundup for the Saints in our consensus 2020 NFL Power Rankings.

The Athletic -- Rank: 10

What we learned: It's time to sound the alarms on their offense. Playing without Michael Thomas, Drew Brees and company could not keep pace with the Raiders. Brees was intercepted before halftime, leading to a Raiders field goal. In the fourth, a Raiders fumble set New Orleans up at its own 40, needing a touchdown to tie the game. But the Saints came up empty and had to punt. Through two games, Brees' average pass has traveled just 5 yards -- an NFL low. Perhaps most concerning is what looks like a decline in accuracy. Brees ranks third-to-last in completion percentage above expectation through two weeks. And with Thomas sidelined, the struggles could get even worse. New Orleans hosts Green Bay on Sunday night in Week 3.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 11

They hardly looked like a Super Bowl contender against the Raiders. The defense was shredded and the offense didn't look the same without Michael Thomas.

USA Today -- Rank: 6

New Orleans still hasn't enjoyed a 2-0 start since 2013. Thanks for that nugget, new "Monday Night Football" guys. What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, fellas.

ESPN -- Rank: 5

Under-the-radar fantasy standout: WR Tre'Quan Smith

The third-year pro has been inconsistent so far -- but part of that was because of a Week 2 ankle injury last year that nagged him for the rest of the season. He has flashed potential with two 100-yard games and two five-TD campaigns. And he showed Monday night that he'll get more opportunities while Michael Thomas is sidelined. -- Mike Triplett -- Rank: 9

"The last two weeks have been average at best." That's how Sean Payton summed up an inauspicious start to a Saints season high on expectations and -- thus far -- so-so on results. On Monday night, Payton's defense was torn up by Raiders tight end Darren Waller, and his team piled up 100-plus penalty yards for the second straight week in a 34-24 loss. Playing without Michael Thomas (ankle), the offense didn't have the firepower to keep up with the Raiders. That is not a sentence we expected to type two weeks ago. Expect most of the focus this week to remain on Drew Brees, who uncharacteristically struggled with accuracy and has now delivered two pedestrian performances to begin his 20th season.

Previous update: New Orleans Saints Week 2 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

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