Saints energy rankings: Week 16

ESPN – #24 (From #26)

Nice shock: WR Rashid Shaheed

Shaheed joined the staff as an undrafted rookie coming off an ACL tear and has battled for extra taking part in time with every week. He’s persistently developing with enormous performs and displaying off his velocity as each a large receiver and kick returner. He averages 22.3 yards per catch. He has been one of many largest surprises among the many Saints’ younger gamers and is in line to interchange Deonte Harty, who entered this season on a restricted free agent tender earlier than occurring season-ending IR. — Katherine Terrell

They’re additionally 5-9, however that is the place getting swept by the Bucs actually places a damper on New Orleans’ hopes for a postseason return.

Atlanta Falcons v New Orleans Saints

Photograph by Chris Graythen/Getty Photographs

CBS – #26 (From #26)

They beat the Falcons, which retains them alive within the playoff race. Simply barely. However the schedule is hard going foward.

NFL – #25 (From #27)

The Saints are by some means, nearly impossibly, nonetheless within the race for the NFC South title after a 21-18 win over the Falcons. The victory, coupled with a Bucs loss to the Bengals, strikes New Orleans inside one recreation of the division leaders with three video games to play, although Tampa owns the tiebreaker due to a season sweep of New Orleans. (It’s all so foolish, however let’s embrace it.) It’s been a irritating 12 months for the offense, however the Saints have one thing in Juwan Johnson, a university extensive receiver turned undrafted NFL tight finish who scored twice on Sunday and set a profession excessive with 67 receiving yards. The emergence of Johnson, paired with an especially promising rookie marketing campaign by wideout Chris Olave, offers New Orleans one thing to construct on transferring ahead.

It’s changing into more and more tough to seek out one thing good to say in regards to the NFC South. The New Orleans Saints had been the one staff within the division that received Sunday. Barring a miracle, the NFC South will turn into the primary division in league historical past to place two sub-.500 groups within the postseason.

However hey, at the very least Juwan Johnson had a day in opposition to the Falcons.

Johnson’s play has been a shiny spot in a season principally bereft of them. After the third-year professional hauled in 4 passes for 67 yards and two scores, Saints quarterback Andy Dalton talked up the athletic younger tight finish.

“Juwan has accomplished lots of actually good issues,” Dalton stated. “Each touchdowns had been good run-after-catch performs by him. So, I really feel like he’s taking part in with a ton of confidence. …

“We’ve had alternatives to take some deep photographs with him, and he’s come down with lots of them.”

Now that the excellent news has been allotted with, right here’s the truth: The Saints aren’t going to win the division, as a result of they aren’t good. New Orleans has zero first-round picks in 2023. It’s the wrong way up to the tune of just about $54 million in opposition to the 2023 cap.

Give it a 12 months, and the staff might take a look at being 5-9 as recollections of the great outdated days—as a result of odds are good the Saints aren’t near the underside but.

PFT – #25 (From #29)

Extra Taysom Hill, please.

The Saints marched away with an enormous win over the Falcons to create a three-way tie for second place within the NFC South. On paper, being lower than No. 2 behind the Buccaneers has been a disappointment.

Common rating: 25 (From 27)

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