The New Orleans Saints were hoping to avoid yet another 0-3 start when traveling to Carolina to face the Panthers, and they accomplished that feat in rather impressive fashion. The Saints found a defense that no one really knew they had while Drew Brees and the offense shredded the top-ranked defensive unit in the league. Now, the latest NFL power rankings are out after the completion of Week 3, and the Saints are on the move up in most of them.
In the preseason, the Saints looked to have some promise with new players on both sides of the ball. Then, they came out very flat in the season-opening loss to the Minnesota Vikings before simply being outplayed by the New England Patriots in Week 2.
This past weekend, the Saints traveled to play the Carolina Panthers and looked like a squad that was a true playoff contender. Not only did they find a defense that was able to shut down Cam Newton and the Panthers offense, but Drew Brees seemed to find a brand new spark for his players.
After Monday Night Football, Week 3 officially ended and the major media outlets released their power rankings, which place the Saints higher up in most of them.
SB Nation had the Saints falling last week, but that was understandable considering their slow to start to the season. This week, though, New Orleans jumped up from No. 26 to No. 17.
The power rankings from NFL.com also had the Saints make a massive jump after their big divisional win on Sunday. Last week, the Black and Gold were down at No. 25, but this week, they've jumped up to No. 19.
CBS Sports is wondering the same thing that a lot of people are: "Where did they find that defense?" Last week, the Saints were sitting down at No. 26, but now, they've made another large leap to No. 22.
Even after the big win, not everyone believes the Saints did enough to head on up in the rankings. As a matter of fact, ESPN didn't have them move at all as they held steady at No. 24. The same can be said for Sports Illustrated, which also kept them in place at No. 24.
This week, the New Orleans Saints open up things with a game against the Miami Dolphins in London. Miami is 1-1 and not looking overly impressive as of yet, but anything is possible of happening in this crazy NFL regular season. With the big victory, the Saints have moved up in almost every major media outlet's power rankings, but they need to keep the momentum going if they want to get to 0.500.
[Featured Image by Grant Halverson/Getty Images]