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2020 NFL Power Rankings: New Orleans Saints

Throughout the 2020 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Here is where the New Orleans Saints rank in terms of average, best and worst:

Below you will find a Week 9 roundup for the Saints in our consensus 2020 NFL Power Rankings.

The Athletic -- Rank: 7

We should judge coaching decisions on process over results. Given that context, Sean Payton deserves to be criticized heavily for his decision at the end of overtime. Payton sent Will Lutz out to kick a 35-yard field goal on first-and-15 with 1:40 left. Lutz made it, the Saints won, and they're now 5-2. But that's bad process. There's no reason to kick on first down there. The Bears had no timeouts. If you take a knee at least twice, you run the clock down. Then even if you miss, Chicago doesn't have much of a chance to score and win. But by kicking on first down, had Lutz missed, the Bears would have had 1:36 to drive into field-goal range. Those types of game management miscues tend to catch up to teams.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 10

They aren't blowing teams out, but they are finding ways to win games. They need to get healthy on offense heading into this week's big game with the Bucs.

USA Today -- Rank: 11

In a nip-and-tuck season, they've won each of their last three games -- all against middling competition -- by a field goal. They'll likely need more TDs and less of K Wil Lutz in Tampa.

ESPN -- Rank: 8

Reason for optimism: Healing offense

Wide receiver Michael Thomas should finally return soon after being sidelined since Week 1 because of ankle and hamstring troubles and a team disciplinary issue. Fellow wideout Emmanuel Sanders also should be back soon from the reserve/COVID-19 list. In the meantime, the rest of the Saints' offense has shown its resiliency during four straight come-from-behind wins (all of which included a two-minute-drill TD before halftime). Alvin Kamara has been the biggest key, leading the NFL with 987 yards from scrimmage in just seven games. -- Mike Triplett

NFL.com -- Rank: 6

Alvin Kamara continues to carry the Saints on offense. The do-it-all running back had 163 scrimmage yards in Sunday's overtime win over the Bears, his third game with 150-plus scrimmage yards this season. Kamara's abilities as a pass-catcher are especially vital for a shorthanded offense that was without Michael Thomas, Marquez Callaway and Emmanuel Sanders. Playing in his first game outdoors this season, Drew Brees struggled to complete downfield throws with his cast of replacement receivers. Brees' arm strength has been a subject of obsession in the first half of this season -- questions will persist after Sunday's performance in Chicago. Brees and the offense will have a huge test Sunday night against the stacked Buccaneers.

Previous update: New Orleans Saints Week 8 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

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