A weekly examination of the Saints’ ESPN.com Power Ranking:
Preseason: 14 | Last Week: 8 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002
The New Orleans Saints held steady at No. 8, which is fitting after they squeaked out a 16-14 victory at Tampa Bay. It was a good win -- but not exactly a pretty one. And for the second week in a row, the No. 8 ranking seems just about right for a 2-0 Saints team that is still trying to prove it is back among the upper echelon of NFL contenders.
A strong case could be made that the Saints should be ranked ahead of the No. 6 Atlanta Falcons, since they beat them head-to-head in New Orleans in Week 1. But I don’t have a problem with the Saints being ranked behind three 1-1 teams (No. 3 San Francisco, No. 5 Green Bay and No. 6 Atlanta). The Saints haven’t been overwhelmingly good enough to move ahead of those proven contenders just yet.
It’s a scary thought for the rest of the NFC, though, that the Saints are already playing with a lead (including a 2-0 record in the division) while their high-powered offense hasn’t even found its rhythm yet. If what we’ve seen so far from the Saints’ defense is legitimate, they’ll only continue to move up this list.