NFL Power Rankings: Top 10 Through Week Three

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Sep 22, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham (80) catches a touchdown over Arizona Cardinals strong safety Yeremiah Bell (37) during the first half of a game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

3. New Orleans Saints (3-0)

Ah the Saints. I got a little bit of heat last week from Saints fans when I ranked them number four, but they continue to impress, Drew Brees and his boys went out and ran over a pretty good Arizona Cardinals team, 31-7. Brees was great again, throwing for 342 yards and three touchdowns. Jimmy Graham was the leading man for the Saints as he raked in nine catches for 134 yards and two touchdowns, Robert Meachem made his big return for the Saints as well catching Brees first touchdown of the day. All around another impressive performance by the Saints offense, just like everyone expects, except the running game again. Now, things looked a little better than last week, but there’s still very little consistency with the running backs. Virtual unknown Khiry Robinson ran four times for 38 yards, Pierre Thomas ran 11 times for 28 yards, and Darren Sproles ran three times for 17 yards. Still nothing special, even though all three back broke runs of more than 10 yards, but couldn’t consistently produce. This will be a major problem as the season rolls on and the Saints play teams that can better defend the pass, and will be forced to run the ball more to run clock. Even when they have to go outside in the cold, Brees won’t have as easy a time getting the ball downfield to the likes of Colston and Graham. The defense looked good, holding the Cardinals to only seven points, making some great plays on the ball for two interceptions, and four sacks to boot. There aren’t many legitimate stars on that defense, but a lot of young, hungry players, who could become big time players. All around, I was again very impressed with the Saints, they can win close game against good defenses like the Bucs, and they can also win some shootout games, which we already knew.

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  • Rod

    Maybe you made a typo, but Jimmy Graham had 9 receptions and two TD’s not Colston…and you are incorrect about throwing in the cold…I don’t know where this house wives’ fallacy comes from…but you are correct about running being a necessity in the playoffs but more so to control clock to rest that very good defense…(imagine that, a coach named Ryan coaching a defense)…Until we get through the New England, Chicago, Miami gauntlet with 2 or more wins, I will reserve my demand for a #1 ranking…and as far as teams that defend the pass better…Tampa and Arizona were ranked high against the pass until they played an elite QB… like Drew who posted 300+ on both of them…not many defenses that are ranked high against the pass have played elite PASSING qb’s like Brees, Rogers, P. Manning…so I counter that with perhaps those top Passing Defenses have to prove themselves against our offense which has proven over the last 6 years and counting that there is an 80% chance of them getting 3 TD’s in the air and a 90% chance of throwing for 300+ yards no matter who you are…hands down the best receiving corp (in terms of talent and depth and counting Sproles, Thomas, and both TE’s) and the one of three of the most elite QB’s playing…Chicago vs. Nola will determine home field advantage this year for NFC, Seattle and Chicago are great, but I don’t see them coming out of their divisions as clean as new orleans right now…unless Carolina has something to say about that (doubt it)…

    • Matt Wincherauk

      Yeah, for some reason I read Colston as having two TDs. My mistake, it’s fixed now.