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2021 NFL Power Rankings: New Orleans Saints

Throughout the 2021 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 16 roundup for the Saints in our consensus 2021 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 17

How hot is Sean Payton's seat: 1. Cold seat

Payton's job is perfectly secure -- despite the fact that New Orleans just had one of its most impressive wins of the season without him on Sunday while he was sidelined by COVID-19. The Saints' passing offense has fallen flat this season for the first time since Payton arrived in 2006. But overall, their 7-7 record is decent considering all the attrition they've faced with injuries, Drew Brees' retirement and salary-cap cuts. The team might have to consider a significant roster rebuild in the near future, but the coaching staff remain a strength. -- Mike Triplett

NFL.com -- Rank: 20

An upset win over Buccaneers -- even a bruised and battered Bucs team -- is worthy of significant praise, but can the Saints be taken seriously in the NFC given the limitations of their offense? Taysom Hill was a non-factor as both passer and runner of the football against Tampa Bay, and his high-stakes audition has been spotty, at best. New Orleans managed just 11 first downs on Sunday night on a paltry 3.5 yards per play. The three field goals produced by that output stood up because Cam Jordan and the New Orleans defense rattled Tom Brady before and after Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Leonard Fournette all exited with injuries. Still, the Saints need to find more balance to play beyond the regular season.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 22

That was an impressive showing at Tampa in beating the Bucs without Sean Payton. That defense was sensational.

USA Today -- Rank: 17

A defense that hung a shutout on Tom Brady for the first time in 15 years and is limiting opponents to a league-worst 43.6% touchdown rate in red-zone trips deserves more appreciation.

The Athletic -- Rank: 19

Our gift to you: Switching it up here and just sending the Saints a thank-you card, because C.J. Gardner-Johnson smirking at Tom Brady was the only gift we needed this holiday season. It's hard -- no, impossible -- to trust the Saints offense, but the defense sure is entertaining.

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