NEW YORK (AP) Comments on the New Orleans Saints by the AP Pro32 panel (ranking in parentheses):
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (12)
Chris Berman (ESPN, 12) - 1992 Chargers only 0-4 team to make playoffs until now?
Clifton Brown (Sporting News, 9) - A win over 49ers on Sunday would position Saints for stretch run.
Rich Gannon (CBS Sports/SiriusXM NFL Radio, 13) - Winners of five of last six. Playoffs?
Bob Glauber (Newsday, 10) - Hottest team in the league? Could be. Saints roll to their fifth win in the last six games and are right in the thick of NFC wild card race. Would be an incredible feat if they get there after overcoming 0-4 start.
Rick Gosselin (Dallas Morning News, 14) - The Saints are 2-3 when Drew Brees throws for 300-plus yards and 3-2 when he doesn't. New Orleans has a three-game winning streak and Brees hasn't passed for 300 in any of them.
Clark Judge (CBSSports.com, 9) - It won five of its last six, and now nobody wants to play the Saints. Make Joe Vitt front-runner for Interim Coach of the Year.
Ira Kaufman (Tampa Tribune, 12) - From 0-4 to 5-5, even with a defense that can't stop anyone.
Pat Kirwan (SiriusXM NFL Radio/CBSSports.com, 14) - I really should move them up even higher the way they're playing. One former head coach said 'that's the team I would least like to play right now.'
John Lynch (Fox Sports, 13) - This team has found its identity. Balance on offense and a more attacking style on defense has this team getting hot. A tough schedule ahead makes the task tougher, but they are playing well and with great confidence.
Alex Marvez (Foxsports.com, 13) - Maybe - just maybe - the Saints can become the second team in NFL history to start 0-4 and still reach the playoffs.
Dan Pompei (Chicago Tribune, 9) - If the season started at the beginning of October, they might be No. 1 in these rankings.