The New Orleans Saints had a disappointing ending to the 2018 season but there is a reason for optimism moving forward. Drew Brees and most of the team's core are intact and will return for next season.

The New England Patriots are Super Bowl Champs but it's always fun to look ahead to next season as we get into the super early edition of the ESPN NFL Power Rankings.

The Top Five is as so:

  1. Los Angeles Rams (2018: 13-3)
  2. Kansas City Chiefs (2018: 12-4)
  3. New Orleans Saints (2018: 13-3)
  4. New England Patriots (2018: 11-5)
  5. Los Angeles Chargers (2018: 12-4)

 

As I had mentioned there is a real reason for optimism for the Saints heading into 2019. Their linebacking core is strong with the breakout year Demario Davis had, Michael Thomas, Alvin Kamara lead the skill position players, Marcus Davenport will have a year of experience under his belt, and there's still Cam Jordan/Marshon Lattimore.

Don't get me wrong, there are many spots the Saints will need to upgrade moving forward and we'll discuss that in an upcoming post but at face value, the core is returning.

Here's how the rest of the NFC South shook out:

18. Atlanta Falcons (2018: 7-9)

19. Carolina Panthers (2018: 7-9)

24. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2018: 5-11)

 

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