Saturday, October 24, 2020

New Orleans Saints Week 7 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: 9.6 (9th)
  • Best ranking: 8th (The Athletic)
  • Worst ranking: 12th (CBS Sports)

Below you will find a Week 7 roundup for the Saints in our consensus 2020 NFL Power Rankings.

The Athletic -- Rank: 8

The Saints return from the bye with a home matchup against Carolina in Week 7. Much of the focus thus far has been on Drew Brees' arm, but New Orleans has scored 30-plus in four of its first five and ranks eighth in EPA per snap on offense. Getting Michael Thomas back should help them be more consistent. The defense, though, ranks 25th and needs to be a lot better for the Saints to come out of the NFC.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 12

They come off the bye with a division game at home against the Panthers. The defense has to be better going forward.

USA Today -- Rank: 9

They haven't allowed a 100-yard rusher since Nov. 19, 2017 ... since Washington's Samaje Perine hit the century mark. That's a remarkable streak of 48 consecutive games.

ESPN -- Rank: 9

Most impactful injury: WR Michael Thomas

This one is pretty obvious, considering Thomas is the NFL's reigning Offensive Player of the Year after catching a league-record 149 passes in 2019. Thomas has been out since suffering an ankle injury in Week 1, and the offense missed him while taking several weeks to get in sync. Drew Brees has finally started to develop a rhythm with WRs Emmanuel Sanders and Tre'Quan Smith, which bodes well for them now that Thomas appears likely to return following the Week 6 bye. But as of now, the Saints rank 28th in the NFL in yards per game by wide receivers. -- Mike Triplett -- Rank: 10

The Saints steadied the ship with back-to-back wins going into their Week 6 bye, but this remains a team with issues on both sides of the ball. Getting Michael Thomas back in the mix would be a big lift on offense, though the situation has been somewhat complicated. Thomas missed three weeks with an ankle injury, then missed his fourth consecutive game due to disciplinary reasons in Week 5. Thomas threw a punch at a teammate, then reportedly behaved in a disrespectful manner toward coaches after the incident. When Thomas is on, he is an historically productive receiver. Is that the version of Thomas the Saints get upon his return? His presence has been badly missed.

Previous update: New Orleans Saints Week 6 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

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