Friday, September 15, 2023

New Orleans Saints Week 2 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 2 roundup for the New Orleans Saints in our consensus 2023 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 15

Best debut performance: K Blake Grupe
Week 1 stats: 3-for-3 on FGs, 1-for-1 on PAT

The Saints took a risk when they traded veteran Wil Lutz to the Broncos in favor of keeping a rookie. But Grupe proved why the Saints took the gamble. He kept them in the game through three quarters before the Saints were able to score a touchdown and was poised under pressure with a 52-yard field goal to tie things up 9-9 in the third quarter. Quarterback Derek Carr sealed the game late with a third-quarter touchdown, but Grupe quietly bolstered the Saints reasoning for keeping him on the 53-man roster. -- Katherine Terrell -- Rank: 14

Derek Carr got his first win as a Saint, and the defense carried an outsized load in the victory over the Titans. But let's talk special teams, because those units helped tip the game in New Orleans' favor. Rookie kicker Blake Grupe won a camp battle and showed why against Tennessee, making all three field goals (including a game-tying 52-yarder) and his only extra point. He also blasted five touchbacks. Punter Lou Hedley is just as inexperienced, but he averaged 48.2 yards on five punts. Zack Baun's blocked punt -- with Steve Gleason in the house! -- shows why he made the team despite having a minimal role on defense. The Saints have some things to clean up, but there were subtle shades of 2006 magic on Sunday.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 16

Derek Carr looked sharp in his first start for the Saints. The defense played even better in dominating the Titans offense.

USA Today -- Rank: 12

Bit of a slow start offensively, yet encouraging nonetheless given the presence of WR Michael Thomas (5 catches, 61 yards) and temporary absence of RB Alvin Kamara.

The Athletic -- Rank: 15

Michael Thomas is back. After playing only 11 games since the 2019 season, the eighth-year wide receiver played 52 snaps and had five catches for 61 yards against the Titans. He was no Chris Olave (eight catches, 112 yards), but he still provided some warm and fuzzy memories for Saints fans.

FOX -- Rank: 17

I'm worried about the Saints' offensive line. Granted, Tennessee's defense is no slouch, but Derek Carr is not a guy who's going to create much if he's not well-protected. The Saints couldn't protect him Sunday, and they couldn't muster anything in the run game. We don't apologize for wins, but we also know offensive line woes are often a bad omen.

Yahoo! -- Rank: 13

Rashid Shaheed is a really good player. The Saints receiver had some impressive stats per snap last season as a rookie, and it carried over to Week 1 when he had 100 total yards and a touchdown. The Saints have a lot of weapons, and they need to turn those weapons into more than 16 points like they had Sunday.

PFT -- Rank: 23

They've been screwed by the officials in the past. Not on Sunday, with a bad call taking a touchdown off the board for Tennessee.

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