As it stands right now, the Saints have a two-game lead in their conference, ahead of the Carolina Panthers. Surprisingly, the Atlanta Falcons, who made it to the NFC Championship last season, have not played up to their expectations. With a 2-5 record, they have a tough road ahead of themselves if they hope to play in the postseason.
The Panthers are playing surprisingly well, winning their last three games after losing their first two. If the Saints continue to play the way they have through their first seven games, however, I think it is inevitable that the NFC South title will return to New Orleans.
The Saints are also tied with the Seattle Seahawks for the best record in the NFC. The Monday Night Football matchup between the Saints and Seahawks in December could very well be a preview of the NFC Championship game. It could very well decide where that championship game will take place as well. New Orleans will have a difficult task in traveling to Seattle and winning, but it is not impossible.
League-wide, however, I think the Saints are right on track with some of the other better teams as well. The Kansas City Chiefs have surprised everybody by winning their first eight games and being the only undefeated team in the NFL this season. Another AFC West team, the Denver Broncos, are doing equally well, and it is likely that these two teams will see each other in the postseason.
So while it is far too early to begin making playoff predictions and calls, we can start to see a very vague outline of who is playing to compete and who is just playing. The Saints are definitely in it to win it.