For those in the state of Louisiana, it's hard to imagine a louder place than inside of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome when cheering on their New Orleans Saints. Most of the time, fans think that the media is slighting the "Bless You Boys" by not giving them the respect they deserve, but that isn't the case in 2018. That was made especially evident on Tuesday afternoon when the NFL power rankings came out after the Week 16 action and the Saints top them all.
Ask the fans of any NFL team and they'll usually tell you that their team isn't respected by the major sports media outlets. Still, it's hard for anyone to deny credit to a team that is playing really well and it is evident that ESPN, CBS Sports, and others believe the Saints are the top team in football right now.
There is just one more week to go in the 2018 NFL regular season, and the Saints are sitting on top of the NFC South with a record of 13-2. In Week 16, they secured home-field advantage and a first-round bye in the playoffs which has everyone showing a great deal of respect to the black and gold.
'Sporting News' - #1The Sporting News has the Saints sitting on top of their power rankings and is calling them "the best all-around team in the NFL." They don't only consider the Saints the team to beat in the NFC, but the favorite in Super Bowl LIII.
'Sports Illustrated' - #1Sports Illustrated has New Orleans also sitting in the prime position in their power rankings just as they were last week. The big victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers locked up everything for them and all that stands in their way now is a Carolina Panthers team without Cam Newton.
'ESPN' - #1Like the others, ESPN has the Saints sitting at the number one spot just as they were last week. The Los Angeles Rams are right behind them in second and the Kansas City Chiefs are the top AFC team and come in at number three.
'CBS Sports' - #1CBS Sports kept it simple in their description of the future for any team facing the Saints in the playoffs in New Orleans - "They will be tough to beat."
'NFL.com' - #1Over on NFL.com, New Orleans kept their stranglehold on the number one position in the power rankings. They stated that the Saints "did nothing to suppress the notion that they are top-shelf, once again taking an opponent's best punch and emerging with a win."
In the final week of the season, the New Orleans Saints cannot improve their position or worsen it, and that is with whatever the outcome is against the Carolina Panthers. Head coach Sean Payton has the option of resting his starters even though he says that won't happen. The Saints are sitting pretty atop the NFC, the NFL, and the power rankings of all the major sports outlets.