New Orleans Saints celebrate an interception by middle linebacker Alex Anzalone (47) against Los Angeles Rams during the first half Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.

In case anyone needs a reminder, the New Orleans Saints hit the road and play the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.

Who could blame you if you almost forgot?

After all, Sunday's road game in Cincy is sandwiched smack-dab in the middle of last week's thriller over the then-undefeated Los Angeles Rams and next week's showdown with the reigning Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles.

Throw in a whole week's work of Dez Bryant Mania, and it's easy to see why Sunday's Who Dat vs. Who Dey battle may have almost slipped your mind.

Yes, this one has all the makings of a trap game for the Saints.

But as you make the rounds in the Saints locker room, the players insist it's not.

"This ain't a trap game," defensive end Alex Okafor said. "They are 5-3. We are lying or kidding ourselves if we think this is a trap game. They are going to come out and try to bust our heads open, so we have to be ready."

A few feet away, Sheldon Rankins had the same sentiments.

"It's in no way, shape or form a trap game," Rankins said. "You look at the teams they have lost to (Carolina, Kansas City and Pittsburgh) and it's not like they are losing to some bad teams. We have our work cut out for us."

Despite a 7-1 record and an NFL-best seven game winning streak, the Saints say they still have work to do.

They like where they are at the midpoint of the season, but they still see plenty of room for improvements.

Where are they?

Depends on whom you ask.

Sean Payton declined to give a midseason grade for his team.

Left tackle Terron Armstead didn't really want to, either.

"I don't like to do grades," Armstead said. "But we have been playing well and the thing we have been doing the best is finding a way to win. I would grade that as an A."

Rankins grades the team "a solid B."

"I think we have grown each and every game," Rankins said. "Each game has taught us something and we have been able to use those lessons and benefit from them. Obviously there are things we can get better on, so I say a solid B. But there is still room for us to grow."

Okafor grades the team a tad bit better.

"Starting the season, if you had told us we would be 7-1, I think everyone on the team would have taken it," Okafor said. "So I'll give us an A-minus right now. But there is definitely room to improve. But as far as overall team success, you really can't beat where we are right now."

An A-minus seems about right, with only some bad moments from the secondary preventing them from earning an A-plus. 

But as Cam Jordan says, there is no reason to grade the first eight games. The only grades that matter now are what the Saints do in the next eight.

"We're starting fresh. It's the midpoint," Jordan said. "So we are scrapping it and saying, 'This is what we have to work on.' At this point I am looking at it like it's a completely new season and I'm stat-less, and I'm going into it trying to do better than I did last semester."

The Saints go into Sunday's game, and the second half of the season, after what has been a roller-coaster ride the past eight days.

Last Sunday's victory over the Rams, punctuated by the 72-yard touchdown pass from Drew Brees to Michael Thomas, had the city buzzing.

A day later, news broke that Bryant, a 3-time Pro Bowler who spent eight seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, was one of three players scheduled to audition for the Saints.

On Tuesday, Bryant was at the Saints practice facility going through his workout. He reached a 1-year deal with the team a day later.

On Thursday, he practiced for the first time, his new teammates salivating at the possibilities of yet another playmaker on the roster. All of that buzz was zapped from the team Friday when Bryant suffered what is believed to be a torn Achilles.

Now they have to forget about all of last week and avoid falling into the trap.

A team that still feels it has something to prove insists they won't.

"We're just grinding, working," Mark Ingram said. "We haven't accomplished anything that we want to accomplish yet. We are on the road to doing that. But we haven't accomplished it yet. We still have a lot of winning to do, a lot of improving to do."

Follow Rod Walker on Twitter, @rwalkeradvocate.