Saints skipper Dylan Hartley has warned not to write off local rivals Leicester Tigers, despite their recent back-to-back defeats.
Leicester were thrashed 45-0 at Bath before suffering a shock 22-19 home reverse against London Irish last weekend.
Richard Cockerill’s squad has been ravaged by injuries and they currently sit eighth in the Aviva Premiership table after four rounds of action.
Meanwhile, Saints have won three of their first four matches and are hot on the heels of the only 100 per cent side, Saracens.
But Hartley says early standings should be taken with a pinch of salt, particularly when it comes to the club situated just up the M1.
“I don’t believe these games this early on define your season,” said the Saints captain after Saturday’s impressive 31-24 victory against a much-fancied Bath outfit.
“I don’t like people talking about contenders because everyone this early on is a potential contender.
“You can’t write off Leicester just because they’ve lost two games in a row. We’re only four games into what is a 10-month season.
“It’s disrespectful to say that about teams so, yes, Bath are a good team, but everyone can beat everyone.
“It’s a long season and around about the New Year things sort themselves out and that’s when you can talk about contenders.”