Friday, October 1, 2021

New Orleans Saints Week 4 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2021 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: 15.0 (T-15th)
  • Best ranking: 12th (USA Today)
  • Worst ranking: 18th (

Below you will find a Week 4 roundup for the Saints in our consensus 2021 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 15

The jury is still out on how effective Jameis Winston will be, since the Saints haven't been in a truly close game yet. He has yet to attempt more than 22 passes or throw for more than 148 yards in a game. That worked great in the Saints' two victories, since they would love to rely on their defense and run game while avoiding turnovers. And he still provides the deep ball threat, as he displayed with a 55-yard scoring pass in Week 1. But Winston did throw a pair of desperation interceptions when things weren't going well in Week 2 and got away with an ill-advised TD pass while being hit in Week 3. -- Mike Triplett -- Rank: 18

For a decade and a half, the Saints' greatest strength was obvious: Put the ball in Drew Brees' hands and let him go to work. The legendary quarterback has moved to the broadcast booth, leaving Sean Payton to find a new identity for the current Saints. In two of the three weeks this season (the first rule of the 2021 New Orleans Saints: don't talk about the Panthers game), the focal point has been a defense that rattles quarterbacks and sets the tone. We saw that on Sunday, a 28-13 win that featured three Mac Jones interceptions, including a Malcolm Jenkins pick-six. After an endless road trip prompted by Hurricane Ida, the Saints are ready for a joyful homecoming against the winless Giants.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 14

Winning at New England is a testament to Sean Payton as a coach. They had a lot to deal with to open this season, yet they are still 2-1. Impressive.

USA Today -- Rank: 12

How unfamiliar is New Orleans amid a 2-1 start? Not one player is averaging even four catches or 40 receiving yards per game.

The Athletic -- Rank: 16

Surprise! The Saints are surviving without Michael Thomas. It was one thing for Drew Brees to adjust to lengthy stretches without his No. 1 target last season, but now Jameis Winston has had to find other options, like Deonte Harris and Marquez Callaway. Harris is averaging nearly 19 yards per catch and Callaway caught his first touchdown of the season on Sunday. We knew the Saints would have to rely most heavily on Alvin Kamara (and indeed, Kamara leads the Saints in pass targets) but it's been a pleasant surprise to see other receiving options emerge.

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