The New Orleans Saints are now up to 2-0 after the thrilling victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It took every single second, but they went out and did it. Well, as of Sept. 18, 2013, others realized their work too and that is why the Saints moved up quite a bit in all of the major NFL Power Rankings.
The Saints moved up considerably from the preseason rankings to the rankings released by major sports outlets after week one.
With the Saints starting off 2-0, they are heading into week three with a home match-up against the 1-1 Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals have developed some young talent and have a good team, but they're going to have a hard time going up against the Saints' explosive offense and revamped defense.
As for now, let's see where the major sports outlets have the Saints ranked in their NFL Power Rankings.
FoxSports.com: The Saints moved up from 12th to 11th
This team gave up the most yards in the history on the NFL last season. Now, they are ranked in the top 10 in pass defense, total defense and scoring defense. Cheers.
CBS - Pete Prisco: The Saints moved up from 5th to 4th
The defense has really been impressive. But the offense hasn't looked the same. It's only a matter of time.
ESPN: The Saints stayed put at 8th
Jimmy Graham posted or tied career highs with 10 catches on 16 targets for 179 yards and seven first downs Sunday. Graham is the only TE with at least 20 targets.
NFL.com: The Saints moved down from 8th to 7th
The New Orleans Saints were bailed out in every way possible in Tampa. Have to say, though: New defensive coordinator Rob Ryan deserves a ton of credit. Sure, New Orleans let Vincent Jackson run wild, and the Saints had some trouble stopping Doug Martin late. But here's something we all must get used to in the 2013 version of the NFL: Situational defense is where it's at. Get the stop when your team needs it.
Achieving critical stops in outcome-determinant situations is more feasible and apropos than playing suffocating defense, à la the 2000 Baltimore Ravens. After all, few teams have the personnel to do much more than that. (The Saints are no exception, having lost many players to injury.) Given the current state of the rules, defensive backs can't get too down after giving up big plays; they just have to focus on stopping the next one. On Sunday, that's what New Orleans did when it had to, and -- with a little help from a Rian Lindell hook shot -- won the game.
SI.com: The Saints moved down from 4th to 6th
Say hello to the bizarro Saints. Black is white, up is down, the defense is leading the way, Mark Ingram is ... OK, Mark Ingram is still the same plodding back he's been since 2011. He was stuffed twice (and Pierre Thomas once) on the Tampa Bay goal line just before halftime, a sequence that nearly cost the Saints win No. 2.
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