Friday, November 5, 2021

New Orleans Saints Week 9 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: 9.4 (9th)
  • Best ranking: 6th (CBS Sports)
  • Worst ranking: 12th (USA Today)

Below you will find a Week 9 roundup for the Saints in our consensus 2021 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 10

Biggest Achilles' heel: Passing game

Quarterback is the obvious choice in the wake of Jameis Winston's knee injury. But even when he was healthy, the Saints' lack of proven WR and TE targets was a glaring problem. They rank 31st in the NFL in passing yards per game (180.9) and completion percentage (58.8) -- and dead last in receptions by WRs (7.9 per game) and receptions by TEs (2.4 per game). Needless to say, they're eagerly awaiting Michael Thomas' return from an ankle injury. -- Mike Triplett -- Rank: 8

You have to give it up to the Saints: On a day they lost their starting quarterback to a season-ending knee injury, they summoned everything they had left to hold off a Tom Brady-led rally and register a dramatic win over the defending champs. That right there was a gut-check W. The loss of Jameis Winston is a crushing setback for the team, of course -- Trevor Siemian is the dictionary definition of career backup, while Taysom Hill has yet to establish himself as a true QB. Still, the Saints have impact players on both sides of the ball and one of the best coaching staffs in football. They ain't dead yet.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 6

Winning the way they did against Tampa Bay is a testament to Sean Payton's coaching. Give defensive coordinator Dennis Allen his due as well. Both will need to be better without Jameis Winston.

USA Today -- Rank: 12

They've clawed their way to within a half-game of the division lead and have a solid grip on the NFC's second wild card. Unfortunately, with turmoil under center in light of QB Jameis Winston's season-ending knee injury, such positioning will be tough to maintain. Best case, hard to view this team as anything more than a one-and-done playoff squad.

The Athletic -- Rank: 11

How's the head coach? Anyone under the illusion that Sean Payton was nothing without Drew Brees is getting a wake-up call. The Saints opened 4-2 in Year One of the post-Brees era, then rallied Sunday to knock off the defending champs despite losing Brees' replacement, Jameis Winston, to a season-ending injury. Can the Saints keep rolling now behind Trevor Siemian or Taysom Hill? Bet against them at your own risk.

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