Saturday, September 30, 2023

New Orleans Saints Week 4 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2023 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Below you will find a Week 4 roundup for the New Orleans Saints in our consensus 2023 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 15

Biggest issue on offense: Offensive line

Saints coach Dennis Allen admitted after the Packers loss that the offensive line needs to protect better, but the unit might have to protect someone else besides quarterback Derek Carr, who is week-to-week after spraining the AC joint in his right shoulder Sunday. The Saints have allowed 12 sacks this season, and while they're not all on the offensive line, it's a problem that needs to be addressed moving forward. -- Katherine Terrell -- Rank: 14

I was struggling to overlook the Saints' O-line issues prior to Derek Carr suffering a shoulder injury that forced him to leave the Week 3 loss to Green Bay. There's no hiding those issues now. Carr's injury was not directly the fault of the Saints' line, but their offensive troubles start with that group. On Sunday, left tackle Trevor Penning was flagged twice and left guard James Hurst was flagged once. Center Erik McCoy and Hurst also had tough reps in pass protection. The entire unit struggled to generate any movement in the run game. And on top of all that, RG Cesar Ruiz left with a concussion. With Carr week to week, who knows how they'll block should Jameis Winston start at QB? The Saints suddenly are entering a gut-check phase after their 2-0 start.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 13

The injury to Derek Carr is a bad thing, but blowing a 17-point lead late still shouldn't have happened. Carr's injury bears watching.

USA Today -- Rank: 16

Just as RB Alvin Kamara tags in from his three-game suspension, QB Derek Carr is likely tagging out for a bit to nurse his injured wing.

The Athletic -- Rank: 11

QB confidence rating: 5

The question in New Orleans is who is the quarterback? For now, it's Jameis Winston. Starter Derek Carr suffered a sprained AC joint in Sunday's loss, and the Saints didn't score after he left the game. Winston did OK, going 10-for-16 for 101 yards after replacing Carr, but Winston was on the roster this offseason when New Orleans gave Carr a four-year contract that could be worth $150 million. That means the Saints clearly don't have a lot of confidence in Winston.

FOX -- Rank: 16

The Saints' pass protection was an issue well before Sunday, but it's an especially big problem now that we've seen Derek Carr get hurt. Hopefully, his shoulder injury isn't too serious, because the Saints stalled out even worse than usual after he left the field. And while the offense might've been the true culprit, it's still strange to see such a veteran defense collapse down the stretch.

Yahoo! -- Rank: 13

Once the Saints knew that Derek Carr was badly hurt, there had to be more urgency to close out a 17-0 lead in the fourth quarter. But they blew that game, allowing the Packers to outscore them 18-0 in the fourth quarter, and now Carr might miss a few weeks with an injured shoulder. That's how a great start to the season turns sour over about an hour.

PFT -- Rank: 17

It's time for Jameis Winston to shine. Or fail miserably trying.

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