Saints move up with backup

The Morning Call - - VARSITY - By Brad Biggs

1. Pa­tri­ots 4-0 (Last week: 1): They might not be slowed down any­time soon as they face the Red­skins, Jets and Gi­ants in their next three games.

2. Chiefs 4-0 (2): Pa­trick Ma­homes’ streak of two or more TD passes in 14 straight games came to an end in Detroit, but he still hasn’t throw an in­ter­cep­tion this sea­son. 3. Saints 3-1 (6): Teddy Bridge­wa­ter was far from great, but the Saints have won two straight games with­out Drew Brees. Ex­pect Bridge­wa­ter to play at least two more games.

4. Cow­boys 3-1 (4): With an op­por­tu­nity to take a com­mand­ing lead in the NFC East and pull ahead of the rest of the con­fer­ence, the Cow­boys fell flat of­fen­sively in New Or­leans.

5. Rams 3-1 (3): It’s tough to win games sling­ing it 50 times, and it’s even more dif­fi­cult to win at­tempt­ing 68 — 68! — passes, which is what the Rams did in a loss to the Bucs.

6. Bears 3-1 (13): Matt Nagy doesn’t want to take bows for a win in Septem­ber, but it was huge to dom­i­nate the Vik­ings from start to fin­ish mi­nus so many key starters. 7. 49ers 3-0 (10): The 49ers had their open date last week but moved into first place in the NFC West. The early break isn’t ideal, but the 49ers are 3-0 for the first time since 1998.

8. Sea­hawks 3-1 (11): With the Rams, Browns and Ravens in the next three weeks, we’ll see if the Sea­hawks are for real or guilty of feast­ing on a weak early sched­ule. 9. Ea­gles 2-2 (16): The Ea­gles were in a tough spot head­ing to Green Bay on a short week, but coach Doug Ped­er­son de­vi­ated from his nor­mal pass-happy ap­proach for the win.

10. Bills 3-1 (12): The de­fense did a re­ally nice job against Tom Brady, but the Bills are go­ing to be a one-di­men­sional team un­til they can get more con­sis­tent of­fen­sive pro­duc­tion.

11. Li­ons 2-1-1 (14): The Li­ons have al­lowed only four pass­ing TDs through four games, a big im­prove­ment, and the of­fense has been bal­anced un­der co­or­di­na­tor Dar­rell Bev­ell.

12. Browns 2-2 (19): Baker May­field and his wealth of of­fen­sive op­tions got go­ing in a big way in a 40-25 rout of the Ravens. May­field passed for 342 yards and one TD. 13. Ravens 2-2 (5): La­mar Jack­son didn’t have a great game as he was in­ter­cepted twice, but the Ravens de­fense was flat-out em­bar­rassed by Browns.

14. Pack­ers 3-1 (7): Da­vante Adams is day to day with a toe in­jury, and that makes the Pack­ers of­fense day to day be­cause Aaron Rodgers lacks an­other con­sis­tent play­maker.

15. Vik­ings 2-2 (8): The run­ning game was nonex­is­tent against the Bears, and that, in turn, shut down the play-ac­tion pass­ing game the Vik­ings have built for Kirk Cousins. 16. Jaguars 2-2 (18): Rookie QB Gard­ner Min­shew is the big story for the Jaguars as he has ig­nited the of­fense and been more than ef­fi­cient since re­plac­ing Nick Foles. 17. Charg­ers 2-2 (17): Melvin Gor­don is back in the mix, and it will be in­ter­est­ing to see how he’s worked in this week against the Bron­cos. He should be good to go. 18. Ti­tans 2-2 (21): Mar­cus Mar­i­ota, who was sacked 17 times through three games, threw three TDs and wasn’t sacked as the Ti­tans were ef­fi­cient pass­ing in a win vs. the Fal­cons.

19. Buc­ca­neers 2-2 (25): Bruce Ari­ans may just be the man who can turn Jameis Win­ston into the quar­ter­back the Bucs have been wait­ing so long for.

20. Pan­thers 2-2 (22): The Pan­thers have won two straight with Kyle Allen fill­ing in for Cam New­ton, but Chris­tian McCaf­frey re­mains the story on of­fense.

21. Texans 2-2 (9): The Texans played well enough on de­fense when you con­sider they lost 16-10 to the Pan­thers, but they couldn’t get a key stop when needed and didn’t max­i­mize.

22. Gi­ants 2-2 (23): Rookie QB Daniel Jones was able to lead the Gi­ants to a sec­ond straight win and did so with­out Saquon Barkley. The de­gree of dif­fi­culty rises vs. the Vik­ings.

23. Raiders 2-2 (28): Rookie RB Josh Ja­cobs has 307 yards and is av­er­ag­ing 5.0 per carry, an im­pres­sive start for an of­fense that needs more than QB Derek Carr to lean on.

24. Colts 2-2 (15): The Colts de­fense that made huge strides last sea­son has plateaued. That doesn’t bode well for them when they face the high-pow­ered Chiefs this week.

25. Steel­ers 1-3 (26): The strug­gling Steel­ers got just what they needed Mon­day night — a visit from the win­less Ben­gals and their first vic­tory of the sea­son.

26. Fal­cons 1-3 (20): The Fal­cons are two games be­low .500 after a loss to the Ti­tans. The only sil­ver lin­ing for the Fal­cons: They have yet to play an NFC South game.

27. Car­di­nals 0-3-1 (24): The re­build that Steve Wilks be­gan a year ago is still spin­ning its wheels un­der Kliff Kings­bury. The Car­di­nals are 1-9-1 at home in that time.

28. Ben­gals 0-4 (27): The Zac Tay­lor era con­tin­ues to be a bumpy process as the Ben­gals were blown out Mon­day night by the Steel­ers.

29. Bron­cos 0-4 (29): Vic Fan­gio’s rough start con­tin­ues as the Bron­cos squan­dered a late lead vs. the Jags and got worse news Mon­day — LB Bradley Chubb’s sea­son is over.

30. Red­skins 0-4 (30): Jay Gru­den called on rookie QB Dwayne Hask­ins, bring­ing the first-round pick off the bench to re­place Case Keenum vs. the Gi­ants. It was a dis­as­ter.

31. Jets 0-3 (31): An early open date helped the Jets from the stand­point that it gave QB Sam Darnold more time to re­cover from mononu­cle­o­sis.

32. Dol­phins 0-4 (32): The Dol­phins have been a train wreck after half­time this sea­son, and their next score in the sec­ond half will be their first.

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