Saints finish third in NFL.com’s weekly power ranking
We all knew the New Orleans Saints were one of the best in the league, and NFL.com’s most recent power rankings think so as well.
Coming into the season, the New Orleans Saints were primed to repeat as NFC Champions. After going 13-2 last season through 16 games, the Saints lost their last game, still ending as a conference-best 13-3.
A non-pass interference call led the Saints to lose the NFC Championship game to the LA Rams. Not losing any elite assets, New Orleans wound up gaining a solid offensive threat in tight end Jared Cook.
With the aging Drew Brees leading the way, columnist Dan Hanzus ranked the Saints as the league’s third-best team through the first two preseason weeks.
"Taysom Hill went off in the second half of the Saints’ preseason game on Sunday, relieving an ill Teddy Bridgewater and lighting up the Chargers with his arm and legs in a comeback win. Exciting? Yes. But remember that the preseason makes fools of many. It does make you think, though: In games that count, would Sean Payton carve out an even greater role for Hill in the Saints’ offense than what we saw last season (133 snaps, seven pass attempts, 37 rushes)? Would Drew Brees be OK with that? Payton wouldn’t do anything to disrespect his future Hall of Fame quarterback, but you know there must be alternate game plans rattling around in that genius offensive mind of his."
Hanzus may not be wrong when he talks about the potential increase of Taysom Hill’s role. With Brees now 40, Payton may look to keep him fresh and injury-free for the postseason. That extra rest may allow more time for a unique playstyle, involving for more of a swiss army knife in Hill.
The Saints, as they transition into a time without Drew Brees, need to figure out prior to complete failure if they can thrive with Hill under center. We haven’t seen enough from the team led by Hill to give full evidence either all.
All we do know is that head coach Sean Payton said Hill could be the league’s next Steve Young. Given that Young tossed for over 3,000 yards six times throughout his career and won a championship, that’s high praise for Hill and moreso Payton’s opinion of Hill.
The Saints are far more than just a quarterback. They have an elite offensive and defensive line to go along with one of the best in the game at wide receiver and running back. Tag on a top-ten cornerback and a solid safety duo, and they’re easily a top-three team in the NFL.
Let’s hope this team, one that’s better on paper than a similar team last season, can rule the NFC yet again.