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Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Power Rankings: No. 5 New Orleans Saints

By Mike Triplett

A weekly examination of the Saints' ESPN.com Power Ranking:

Preseason: 14 | Last Week: 3 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002

Out of sight, out of mind? The Saints (5-1) fell two spots after their bye week, which is unusual because they fell only one spot after losing in Week 6. But it’s understandable because the new No. 2 Indianapolis Colts and No. 4 Seattle Seahawks both had impressive victories in Week 7.

A case could be made for putting the Saints ahead of the 6-1 Seahawks, which two voters did. But it's not necessary at this point. Those two teams will have ample time to jockey for position in the NFC -- including a head-to-head matchup on "Monday Night Football" in Seattle in Week 13.

The Saints will have a chance to impress the voters Sunday with a home date against the Buffalo Bills (3-4). It's the treacherous six-game stretch that follows, however, that will ultimately prove the Saints' worth (at N.Y. Jets, vs. Dallas, vs. San Francisco, at Atlanta on a Thursday night, at Seattle on a Monday night, vs. Carolina on a short week).

The Saints should be fairly healthy for the home stretch after a timely bye week. The key injuries to watch are tight end Jimmy Graham (foot), receiver Lance Moore (hand) and safety Roman Harper (knee).