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Saints Marching … Up NFC Power Rankings

Were we worried Seattle would knock the Rams off the NFC power rating mountain top on Sunday? Nope. Not one bit. Remember, birds can only annoy rams. Nothing more. It’s a basic law of nature.

1. Los Angeles Rams

The most dynamic offense in the NFL continued to roll in Sunday’s win over the Seahawks. The Rams scored over 30 for the fifth straight week while gaining 468 yards. But things might slow down a bit now that receivers Brandin Cooks and Cooper Kupp are in concussion protocol. And keep an eye on their defense, which allowed the Seahawks 190 yards rushing.

Joe Robbins / Getty

2. Chicago Bears

They don’t have the offense of the Rams or the New Orleans Saints, even though Mitchell Trubisky tossed six touchdown passes in their 48-10 win over Tampa Bay, amply protected by an offensive line that has allowed only 19 pressures in four games. But we don’t believe there is a better defense in the NFC (at least) and Khalil Mack may be on his way to the defensive player of the year.

3. New Orleans Saints

NFC Power

Chris Graythen / Getty

Congratulations to the great Drew Brees, who set the NFL record for passing yards during Monday Night’s comprehensive 43-19 demolition of the Washington Redskins. And we loved the theatre of it all, his 62-yard pass-and-run TD strike to rookie Tre’Quan Smith in the second quarter putting Brees over the top. The Saints offense is right up there with the Rams and will be better with Mark Ingram back.

4. Carolina Panthers

Hey, New York Giants fans, did you know your former linebacker (and special teams star) Chase Blackburn is now special teams coach of the Panthers? We’re sure that makes you feel even worse about Grant Gano’s game-winning 63-yard field goal on Sunday. The point is, as good as Cam Newton and Christian McCaffrey are on offense, special teams is where this team really excels.

5. Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings avenged, at least theoretically, last season’s loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship game. And that must of felt good. With Kirk Cousins at QB it shouldn’t surprise that the Vikings threw 37 times and rushed only 23 because they have no running game. Don’t worry. Cousins has two of the best receivers in the game in Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen and on Sunday he was 17-of-21 for 207 yards and one TD when looking in their direction.

6. Philadelphia Eagles

After having all the luck during their Super Bowl run – and we include the success of Nick Foles – the scales of good fortune have been tipping away from the Eagles. Running back Jay Ajayi was placed on IR with an injured knee. What’s more, some TV guy in the Philly market actually said this week that he believes the 2-3 Eagles should abstain from sex in order to improve because it “fogs your mind.”

7. Seattle Seahawks

As we mentioned before, the Seahawks had a nice day on offense against the Rams and have nice wideouts in David Moore and Tyler Lockett to help Russell Wilson look good. But after watching their defense try to contain the Rams, all you can say is the former “Legion of Boom” now looks more like the “Legion of Gloom.”

8. Green Bay Packers

The Packers lost to the Detroit Lions and that was unfortunate for them. But they also were playing without receivers Randall Cobb and Geronimo Allison and apparently Davante Adams, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Jimmy Graham weren’t enough to help Aaron Rodgers succeed. The bigger problem was no pressure on QB Matthew Stafford and the worst game in the career of kicker Mason Crosby.

9. Washington Redskins

Not a big fan of Alex Smith, even though he threw for 275 yards, or the Redskins defense, especially after watching the way they failed to contain Brees in New Orleans. Adrian Peterson dislocated his shoulder and Josh Norman got into an ill-advised Twitter war with Saints WR Michael Thomas and then got himself benched for poor play. You know, in retrospect, maybe they just should have sucked it up and paid Cousins.

10. Detroit Lions

The Lions actually led the Packers 24-0 on Sunday (they won 31-23) and who would have guessed that possible after their Week 1 performance against the New York Jets? Since then, they have defeated the New England Patriots and the Packers and head into the bye week 2-3. But there are problems: They ranked last in the NFL in rush defense and punt return yardage allowed and have some injuries to deal with.

11. Dallas Cowboys

Remember when the Cowboys had receivers like Bob Hayes, Tony Hill, Drew Pearson, Golden Richards, Michael Irvin, Jason Whitten and, oh right, Dez Bryant? Well, in Sunday’s loss to the Houston Texans, Geoff Swaim and Tavon Austin were their go-to guys. And you wonder why we feel the way we do about the Cowboys?

12. Atlanta Falcons

Goodness gracious does Atlanta’s defense stink. It has allowed over 37 points three straight weeks and not even a QB as prolific as Matt Ryan can do enough to compensate for it. Then again, Matty Ice melted during the 41-17 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was off-target, sacked six times and couldn’t get the ball to Julio Jones until early in the fourth quarter.

13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

When last we left the Bucs, the defense was wilting under the pressure Trubisky applied. The 48-10 loss was not a good look. So with the bye week upon them, coach Dirk Koetter gave the guys six days off and spent last Sunday fishing (two snook, one trout). The goal now is to reel in the karma that was there when Ryan Fitzpatrick had them flying. He has given way to Jameis Winston, but the Bucs still lead the NFL averaging 363.3 passing yards.

14. New York Giants

The Giants waved a tiny white flag Tuesday by finally admitting the Ereck Flowers experiment should end. They waived their 2015 first-round pick, a hulking offensive tackle. He never could protect Eli Manning at left tackle and didn’t do much better at right tackle. Now, what to do with Eli?

15. Arizona Cardinals

Things will eventually get better now that Josh Rosen is at quarterback. But even though the Cardinals won for the first time on Sunday against San Francisco, the kid QB completed just 10 passes for 170 yards and 75 came on their first play, a TD strike to Christian (Captain) Kirk. The rest of the day? Meh. The 49ers ran 92 plays, gained 33 first downs and controlled the ball for 40:12.

16. San Francisco 49ers

The glass is half-full: QB C.J. Beathard had 349 yards passing and two TDs in the loss to the Cardinals and we just pointed out how the 49ers offense dominated the day. Check back next week for an update.




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