Peter King’s offseason power rankings aren’t high on the Saints
The start of the NFL preseason may still be months away with the 2023 draft having just come to a close, but that doesn’t mean that it’s too early for preseason power rankings.
Peter King of NBC Sports recently released his offseason power rankings and the New Orleans Saints were not exactly highly favored as he placed them at No. 24 among the league’s 32 teams.
Directly ahead of the Saints in the same “they’ve got holes” category he placed New Orleans in were the Las Vegas Raiders (No. 19), New England Patriots (No. 20), Green Bay Packers (No. 21), Atlanta Falcons (No. 22) and the Denver Broncos (No. 23).
King ranked only the Carolina Panthers, Indianapolis Colts, Washington Commanders, Los Angeles Rams, Chicago Bears, Houston Texans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals behind the Saints in his rankings, writing of New Orleans:
A bad division is there for the Saints to win—if old warhorses like Demario Davis, Cam Jordan and Tyrann Mathieu can muster up one more charge, and if Derek Carr can improve a team that was 22nd in scoring last year to middle of the pack.
King does have a point here with how the overall mediocrity of the division puts the Saints in a decent position before considering the strengths and weaknesses of the Saints alone to begin with.
And Davis, Jordan and Mathieu have all shown how much of an impact-maker they can be respectively, so if they can all rise to the occasion and that manner and the veteran Carr can find some juice with a change of scenery, this could be a team with more pop to it than expected.
Mathieu was the cause for four of the team’s turnovers last season and the Saints’ collective defensive efforts on the pass rush made them one of just three teams with at least five players who recorded five sacks.
Offensively, a lot is going to ride of just how solid the quarterback play is with Carr on board, but looking at the big picture, there’s some room for cautious optimism the team could end up higher than this in these same standings postseason as they look to bounce back after going 7-10 in 2022.
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