The New Orleans Saints took a major loss to the Carolina Panthers in Week 16 to put Sean Payton’s team in a dangerous place when it comes to the 2013 playoffs, not to mention in power rankings around the globe.
Of course, power rankings do not actually mean anything, but it is fun to see where the team ranks compared to the rest of the league in the minds of experts.
ESPN has knocked the Saints down another spot, saying:
Darren Sproles was limited to 20 yards from scrimmage in Sunday’s loss to the Panthers. Sproles has averaged 56.8 yards per game this season, his lowest mark since joining the Saints.
CBS Sports does the same and actually questions how good the Saints truly are:
The offensive line had a horrible day last week and they have struggled all season on the road. How good are they?
Finally, NFL.com drops the Saints three spots:
As painful as the loss in Carolina was, the task is truly on the table for New Orleans now. The Panthers will likely beat the Falcons next week, which means in the playoffs (they’ll get in over Arizona), the Saints will play on the road, where they have struggled mightily. Whether working in front of hostile fans causes issues for the offense or this team just feeds off a friendly crowd more than any other, there is no getting around New Orleans’ 3-5 away record. Rob Ryan’s defense faltered when it counted in Charlotte, much as it did in New England.
So no, not a good week for the Saints in the world of power rankings — and rightfully so. The Saints have an opportunity to change some minds in the final week of the season and in the playoffs.
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