New Orleans Saints fans are excited that New Orleans and the team agreed to allow fans in the Superdome Sunday! Coming off of a bye week, the Saints will return to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome to host the Carolina Panthers. After a thrilling comeback win in overtime against the Los Angeles Chargers on Monday Night Football, the Saints are now 3-2.
Facing the Panthers, the Saints will return to division play for the first time since a season-opening win over Tampa Bay. An exciting match is brewing as Drew Brees will meet Teddy Bridgewater for the first time since last season’s injury. Bridgewater led the Saints to a five-game winning streak in 2019 but now leads the Panther’s standout offense.
Week 7 of the NFL is shaping up to be exciting because anything can change in an instant. The Browns seemed to be a formidable team against the Cowboys but regressed, again. Aaron Rodgers was unstoppable until he met the Bucs young and hungry defense. And, Philip Rivers has Indy on a roller-coaster ride. Last, we have the Jets… well, let’s just get to the Top 5.
A familiar face returns to the top spot, and one of the NFL’s biggest surprises this year cracks the top three for the first time. Meanwhile, the Saints are poised for a comeback to take the top five spots from a division rival.
Saints News Network's NFL Top 5 Power Rankings for Week 7
1. Kansas City Chiefs, 5-1
The Kansas City Chiefs reclaim their number 1 spot in the power rankings after a 26-17 win over the Buffalo Bills. The Chiefs did not win with Patrick Mahomes airing it out in their passing game - but it was on the ground. The Chiefs ran the ball 46 times for 245 yards. Rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire led the way with 26 carries for 161 yards.
Andy Reid continues to prove how versatile and dangerous his team really is in the NFL. He's added a new weapon to his arsenal, running back Le’Veon Bell.
2. Tennessee Titans, 5-0
The 5-0 Tennessee Titans are one of the biggest surprises in the NFL. Running back Derrick Henry is a monster on the field, and quarterback Ryan Tannehill continues to play well. In Week 6's 42-36 comeback win over the Houston Texans, the Titans duo became the first in NFL history to have a 200+-yard rusher and 350+-yard passer in the same game.
The Titans had some obstacles to overcome due to COVID-19 the other week, but they have crushed all expectations so far. Don’t count out the Titans. They have surprised everyone.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers, 5-0
Steeler Nation blew out the division rival Cleveland Browns, a team that had some momentum, 38-7. The Steelers’ defense helped lead the way by forcing two interceptions and returning one for a first-quarter touchdown. Running back James Conner had 101 yards rushing with a touchdown, and budding star receiver Chase Claypool had 74 yards receiving.
The Steelers are now looking like the top team in the AFC North over the Baltimore Ravens. On Sunday, they will face the Titans.
4. Seattle Seahawks, 5-0
The Seattle Seahawks had a bye in Week 6. Russell Wilson has led the Seahawks a 5-0 record by throwing for 19 touchdowns with only three interceptions. Wilson has also completed 72.8% of his passes with a 129.8 quarterback rating.
The emergence of receiver D.K. Metcalf, who has nearly 500 receiving yards and five touchdowns, has provided a big-play spark for the Seahawk's offense. As long as Russell Wilson is the quarterback, Seattle is one of the most "DangerRuss" teams in the NFL.
5a. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 4-2
Watch out, NFL. The Bucs just put a screeching halt to Aaron Rodgers and the Packers’ impressive start of 2020.
Tom Brady and the Bucs are hitting their stride after a 38-10 statement win over the Green Bay Packers, last week’s top team. Practically, everything worked for the Bucs. Whether it was Brady’s two touchdown passes, Ronald Jones rushing for 113 yards, or even the defense, which had a pick-six.
When Tampa Bay can find their groove, they become difficult to stop. Their young, fast, and hard-hitting defense will be the unit having the Bucs going far in 2020.
5b. Baltimore Ravens, 5-1
The Ravens are a well-balanced team with a great defense to complement the reigning MVP, QB Lamar Jackson. The team's defense completely shut-down the Eagles for 3 quarters but allowed a late 22-point surge in the 4th quarter of their 30-28 win.
Jackson mesmerized the Eagles defense with 9 rushes for 108 yards and a touchdown, and 186 yards in the air with one touchdown. Yet, they struggled on third-downs, by converting only 6/16.
Baltimore has talent. Their one hurdle has to be, "how do they beat the Chiefs?" The Ravens have a bye in Week 7. BTW, where is Mark Ingram?
*8. New Orleans Saints, 3-2
The New Orleans Saints remain at number 8 from last week, mostly because the team had a bye week. After a tough and gritty win against the Los Angeles Chargers, New Orleans has appeared to rise-up out of their slump from Weeks 2 and 3. This week’s game against the Carolina Panthers will prove they have finally found their rhythm.
Drew Brees has started slow this year. Brees led another comeback win for the Saints offense versus the Chargers. The defense shook off some rust to stop a potential game-winning drive from Justin Herbert and the Bolts.
Michael Thomas was to return this week but now has a hamstring injury. The Saints could look to bounce back into consideration as one of the top teams in the NFL, and this week will prove to be a big one for the franchise.
Article contributor Sam Lucio, Saints News Network Intern.