Jan 4, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton during the second quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles during the 2013 NFC wild card playoff football game at Lincoln Financial Field. The Saints defeated the Eagles 26-24. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
In case you missed it earlier, ESPN has released their post-draft power rankings for the NFL. The New Orleans Saints are ranked at #5. The Saints were previously ranked #6 at the end of last season. The team ranks behind the Seattle Seahawks, Denver Broncos, San Francisco 49ers, and New England Patriots.
As for the rest of the NFC South, here’s what things look like:
The Falcons earned the biggest boost from last year, and you can thank that assumption primarily based off a healthy Julio Jones. Sure, they improved (arguably) other pieces of their team on paper, but what about no more Tony Gonzalez? The Panthers have too many question marks at this point in time, but still remain a fairly strong contender on defense. The Bucs aren’t getting much love despite making huge splashes in free agency, the draft, and a changing of the guard (Lovie Smith).
The Saints seem appropriately ranked at #5. You can’t exactly blame the other teams in front of the Saints. All they did were win the Super Bowl, lose the Super Bowl, and the two conference championship losers.
The Saints should boast another strong team in 2014. Of these top ranked teams, the Saints will face the San Francisco 49ers this season. The team has the eight weakest strength of schedule this season (.469), and will be battle tested the very first week of the season when they face divisional rival Atlanta.
What do you think of the ranking? Is it too high? Too low? Where do you see the Saints finishing this season? Let us know!
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