The NFC South is one of the most unpredictable divisions in the NFL, but we’ll give it a go. Let’s first take a look at the teams in the division: New Orleans Saints, Atlanta Falcons, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Carolina Panthers. This is quite a range when it comes to talent levels.
The New Orleans Saints are only one year removed from a Super Bowl victory. There are two ways to look at this situation. The first way is to say that they won their Super Bowl, lost their motivation, and are beginning their descent. The other way to look at it is that they have all the talent in the world and that they took the Seahawks too lightly in the first round of last year’s playoffs. If you go for the latter reasoning, then you would expect them to avoid making the same mistake twice. The bottom line for the Saints is that they have one of the best QBs in the game, a great running game, and excellent receivers, but they’re way too soft on defense. This seems to be a common theme in the NFL these days. It’s not because of
decreased talent. It’s because offenses have become more with their air attacks. The Saints have too much talent to fall apart. They should bounce back strong and win the division.
The Atlanta Falcons may have won the NFC South last season, but are they really in great shape going into next season? They have Matt Ryan and Roddy White, but Michael Turner is always injured and Tony Gonzalez is old enough to walk with a cane. On defense, they have a bend-don’t-break defense that often breaks in the second half. They are a solid team, but they’re not as talented as the Saints.
The Buccaneers have Josh Freeman leading the way at QB and he’s very good. They also have some quality young receivers and a solid running game. What the average NFL fan might not know is that they have been quietly revamping their defense. Instead of going for a championship with older veterans for one season, the Buccaneers are taking the wise approach – they’re taking their time to build a dynasty. That said, they still have two years before they get there.
The Panthers have the worst QBs in the league, an aging receiving corps, and a pretty bad defense. The only thing they really have is good RBs. However, without a passing game, defenses will put 8 in the box. It’s going to be a long year for the Panthers.
NFC South Predictions