Friday, November 19, 2021

New Orleans Saints Week 11 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: 13.2 (12th)
  • Best ranking: 11 (ESPN)
  • Worst ranking: 18 (USA Today)

Below you will find a Week 11 roundup for the Saints in our consensus 2021 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 11

Most important remaining game: Jan. 2 vs. Panthers

The real answer is this week at Philadelphia, where the Saints will try to avoid their first three-game losing streak since 2016. Frankly, every game matters for a team now holding onto a playoff berth by the skin of its teeth. But I'll circle the Week 16 home date against Carolina on my calendar, since the Panthers are now the Saints' closest pursuers in the wild-card race and have already beat them, in Week 2. Both teams have a chance to be at their best by the end of this season now that they're getting healthier and adding key players, including Cam Newton. This game could have huge implications for two teams hoping to peak in January. -- Mike Triplett -- Rank: 13

Sean Payton was not a happy man after Sunday's 23-21 loss to the Titans ... and we get it. His kicker missed two extra points, a potential game-tying two-point conversion was foiled in the final minute, and officials cost New Orleans seven points with a highly questionable roughing the passer penalty. Credit the Saints for hanging tough against a red-hot opponent, on the road, with four key offensive starters sidelined by injuries. But it's the result that matters most, and New Orleans missed out on a golden opportunity to move into a first-place tie with the Bucs atop the NFC South.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 12

They have lost two straight games with their backup quarterback, which really limits the offense. The defense, which has played well, is now forced to play ever better. That's tough.

USA Today -- Rank: 18

Currently the NFC's sixth seed, they can't expect to maintain that spot -- amid a two-game losing streak without QB Jameis Winston -- if the defense continues to fade, special teams keep faltering, critical penalties mount, and RB Alvin Kamara doesn't play.

The Athletic -- Rank: 12

Steal a player: Dak Prescott, Cowboys quarterback

With apologies to everyone else in the NFC South, the NFL is more fun when Sean Payton has a quarterback. No offense, Kellen Moore; we love what you've done with Dak; but imagine a Payton and Prescott team. Dak is firmly in the MVP conversation. Put him with Alvin Kamara, throw in a defense ranked fifth in the NFL in expected points contributed (7.75) and let's see what happens.

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