NEW YORK (AP) Comments on the New Orleans Saints by the AP Pro32 panel (ranking in parentheses):
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (17)
Chris Berman (ESPN, 17) - From interim interim coach to interim coach.
Clifton Brown (Sporting News, 9) - Watch out for them in the season's second half. Sunday night game in Denver will be huge.
Cris Collinsworth (NBC Sports, 17)
Rich Gannon (CBS Sports/SiriusXM NFL Radio, 22) - Don't worry about Drew Brees and the offense, but you should be concerned about that defense.
Bob Glauber (Newsday, 17) - A season-saving comeback win in Tampa Bay? Could be. Saints keep hope alive as they get interim head coach Joe Vitt back from suspension. First up for Vitt: at Denver against Peyton.
Rick Gosselin (Dallas Morning News, 20) - The Saints rank last in the NFL in both defense and rushing offense. That explains why New Orleans, one of the preseason favorites, sits 2-4 and trails the NFC South-leading Falcons by four games.
Clark Judge (CBSSports.com, 17) - Say it ain't so, Joe. Vitt is back, and so is that high-flying New Orleans offense. But defense? There are more holes there than on Bourbon Street.
Ira Kaufman (Tampa Tribune, 17) - Momentum is building and Drew Brees is in top gunslinger form.
Pat Kirwan (SiriusXM NFL Radio/CBSSports.com, 17) - The Saints impressed me putting 35 points on the board without the services of tight end Jimmy Graham. The defense still needs to improve, but they are climbing back in the race like Drew Brees told me they would a few weeks ago.
John Lynch (Fox Sports, 19) - QB Drew Brees is playing great. The offense stuck committed to running the ball enough vs. Tampa and that makes Brees even better. Their defense is not good, but improving.
Alex Marvez (Foxsports.com, 25) - Joe Vitt is now back as interim head coach. That's great, but can he also play defense? The Saints need any help they can get.
Dan Pompei (Chicago Tribune, 17) - Jonathan Vilma and Joe Vitt are back. Maybe some of the Saints' mojo is back, too.