Power Rankings: No. 6 New Orleans Saints

A weekly examination of the New Orleans Saints’ ESPN.com Power Ranking:

Preseason: 14 | Last Week: 5 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002

The New Orleans Saints (6-2) fell only one spot after their worst all-around performance of the season -- a 26-20 loss to the New York Jets. That’s fair, because the Saints have proved that they have one of the highest ceilings in the NFL when they’re on their game.

However, if they don't bounce back quickly, the Saints are in danger of dropping into the middle of the pack -- both in the Power Rankings and the actual NFC standings. Over the next two weeks, the Saints will host the Dallas Cowboys (5-3) and the San Francisco 49ers (6-2) -- two of the other top NFC teams jockeying for playoff position.

The Saints typically do their best work inside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, especially in prime time, where they’ll be when they host the Cowboys this coming Sunday night on NBC. It will be critical for them to keep that up, because the schedule doesn’t get any easier.