NEW YORK (AP) Comments on the New Orleans Saints by the AP Pro32 panel (ranking in parentheses):
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (17)
Chris Berman (ESPN, 13) - Will be tough to deal with second half of season.
Clifton Brown (Sporting News, 16) - With Drew Brees leading the way, they can make a run if defense holds up.
Cris Collinsworth (NBC Sports, 19)
Rich Gannon (CBS Sports/SiriusXM NFL Radio, 17) - Not a playoff team because of their lousy defense.
Bob Glauber (Newsday, 14) - Drew Brees says there's still plenty to play for this season, especially after Saints come alive in Monday night win over Eagles. Defense had 13 sacks coming into the game and had more than half that total (7) against Philly.
Rick Gosselin (Dallas Morning News, 16) - General manager Mickey Loomis is back from his NFL suspension this week but coach Sean Payton may never come back, pending the outcome of his contract talks with the Saints.
Clark Judge (CBSSports.com, 18) - Yes, the Saints have the world's worst defense, but they still have Drew Brees to act as a life preserver.
Ira Kaufman (Tampa Tribune, 17) - Taking down the Falcons would make quite a statement.
Pat Kirwan (SiriusXM NFL Radio/CBSSports.com, 18) - A big win over the Eagles and a defense that got seven sacks makes the Saints look like a team that can make it to the playoffs. We'll find out this week with the undefeated Falcons coming to the Big Easy.
John Lynch (Fox Sports, 19) - They looked better on defense Monday night, not to be confused with good. We all know what this offense can do.
Alex Marvez (Foxsports.com, 18) - The Saints should lobby to play every Monday night. A 28-13 win over Philadelphia marked the franchise's eighth consecutive MNF victory.
Dan Pompei (Chicago Tribune, 18) - Sean Payton can't help them this year. The question is can he help them next year, or will he be helping another team?