2018 NFL Power Rankings: Brandin Cooks, Ndamukong Suh puts Rams on top

FOXBORO, MA - AUGUST 10: Brandin Cooks
FOXBORO, MA - AUGUST 10: Brandin Cooks /
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(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) /

8. New Orleans Saints

It sounds crazy to have three teams from the NFC South in a row discussed on a list like this, but also this shows just how good the division was during the 2017 season, and there’s every reason to believe that will be the case once again next year. During a season in which the Falcons appeared to be the favorites to repeat as NFC South champions, it was actually the New Orleans Saints that stepped up to take the title, mainly as a result of a much-improved defense.

Over the last couple of seasons, New Orleans has been viewed as a team that always came up short of earning a spot in the playoffs, as a result of horrendous play on the defensive side of the football. But thanks to the Saints taking advantage of a strong offseason to improve the defense led by the selection of Marshon Lattimore in the draft, the unit worked it’s way into being one of the best throughout the 2017 season.

The fact that New Orleans won eight games in a row at one point shows how much of a difference one year makes. Best part is, the Saints don’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon, and look to continue off of last year’s surprise success as one of the top overall teams in the NFL once again.