As the NFL season enters the home stretch, we can separate the Contenders from the Pretenders. The Saints stuck a fork in the injured and bruised San Francisco 49ers. Tom Brady found his stride as he took his frustration from last week out on the Panthers. The AFC holds things steady as the Steelers, Miami, and Raiders continue their winning ascent.
The Pittsburgh Steelers left a lasting impression on Heisman Quarterback Joe Burrow with sack after sack. Patrick Mahomes had a week off to plan his revenge on the Raiders for their lone 40-32 loss. Aaron Rodgers was just Aaron Rodgers. He proved the Packers are for real and soared to the NFC’s No. 1 seed.
Saints quarterback Drew Brees was injured in the Mercedes Benz Superdome after facing a battered San Francisco 49ers on Sunday. Saints News Network’s John Hendrix reported.
Drew Brees is going to miss some time with the Saints, but it’s unclear how much. As we learned on Monday, Brees is dealing with multiple cracked ribs and a collapsed lung. Like last season, New Orleans will have to figure out a way to win without their superstar quarterback.
On a brighter side for the Saints, quarterback Taysom Hill will take over as the starter versus Atlanta on Sunday. New Orleans signed Hill to a huge 2 year contract extension worth $21 million with $16 million guaranteed ($1 million of incentives). Can Taysom be able to guide the Saints to a win over the Falcons and continue staying in the playoff race?
The Saints will face the 3-6 Atlanta Falcons at home on Sunday. You can watch it on FOX at 12:00 PM CST.
The Top 5 NFL Power Rankings in Week 11
1. Pittsburgh Steelers (9-0)
The Pittsburgh Steelers keep on winning and are sitting at 9-0. They are one of the biggest surprises in the NFL this season. Leading the offense, 38-year-old Ben Roethlisberger had a better week than the one prior, throwing for 4 touchdowns. Diontae Johnson led the way receiving and caught 6 passes for 116 yards and one touchdown.
Nothing seems to faze the Pittsburgh Steelers as they have won both hard-fought and close games, like against the Baltimore Ravens, and huge blowouts like the Cincinnati Bengals this week. The Steelers deserve the number one spot so far this season, and they do not look like they are slowing down soon.
2. Kansas City Chiefs (8-1)
The Kansas City Chiefs had a bye week, and maintained their #2 spot in the rankings. The defending Super Bowl champs, led by Patrick Mahomes, continues to be electric on offense. Mahomes has scorched opposing defenses this year for 2,687 yards for 25 touchdowns, with only one interception and a quarterback rating of 110.5.
Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill have also been phenomenal with 769 yards with 6 touchdowns and 650 yards with 9 touchdowns, respectively. The Kansas City Chiefs are primed at a run to defend their championship, but the Pittsburgh Steelers are looming above them right now.
3. New Orleans Saints (6-2)
The New Orleans Saints have won 6 straight games, flaunting the second-longest winning streak in the NFL behind only the Pittsburgh Steelers. The defense came up big yet again, forcing two interceptions and only holding the San Francisco 49ers to 13 points. Special teams were also a bright spot for the Saints after they recovered two fumbles on punts. Deonte Harris had 122 yards on 3 returns.
However, the biggest story is the injury to Drew Brees, who might be out for a couple of weeks with broken ribs and a deflated lung. Taysom Hill will get the starting nod over Jameis Winston. Hill will have to step up and deliver over the Saints most hated rival, the Atlanta Falcons.
4. Tampa Bay Bucs (7-3)
Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Bucs climb their way back into the top 5 after beating the Carolina Panthers 46-23. Brady had one of his better games of the season, coming off of his worst, and threw for 341 yards and 3 touchdowns while running back Ronald Jones also had a breakout game with 192 yards rushing and a touchdown.
The Bucs will have a grueling schedule coming up against the Los Angeles Rams and Kansas City Chiefs as they try to dethrone the Saints from the top spot in the NFC South.
5. Green Bay Packers (7-2)
The Green Bay Packers and Aaron Rodgers had a solid outing against the Jacksonville Jaguars, winning 24-20. Rodgers threw for 325 yards and two touchdowns, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling hauled in 4 catches for 149 yards and a touchdown.
The Green Bay Packers are currently the number 1 seed in the NFC and are trying to hold on to that spot as New Orleans and Tampa Bay Bucs are on their heels. The Packers still struggle from a lack of depth, which could hurt them later in the season.
Article Contributor Sam Lucio, Saints News Network Intern.