We football fans predicted that the NFC South was gonna be as tough as the NFC North is. It’s quite possible.
But we seen the New Orleans Saints capture the division and number one seed, only to fall short on reaching the Super Bowl in controversial fashion.
Here’s what I have ranked for who will the NFC South this season.
DISCLAIMER: these predictions are based off of opinions and facts. Fans with their opinions are welcome.
From the first quarter of the first game last season, you had a feeling things for Atlanta was not going to go right — at all.
Season-ending injuries to key defensive players was the domino to fall. Yet, their big issue lies on the offensive line.
They did address it by drafting offensive linemen Chris Lindstrom and Kaleb McGary in the first round to solidify the right side onward to protecting quarterback Matt Ryan.
They did return some key pieces such as wide receivers Calvin Ridley and All-Pro Julio Jones, and running back Devonta Freeman.
However, I have a slight stance that the Falcons may have downgraded in the coordinator department. As they brought former rival coach Dirk Koetter for the offense and Bob Sutton for the defense.
We shall see if the Falcons can get a steady run towards the division, but only if they can stay healthy and they can stick together for 16 games this season. Good luck.
What may have caused the collapse of Carolina is built due to age, injury, and consistency.
We have heard about quarterback Cam Newton’s injured shoulder, but I think the cause was from age of the defense.
After losing Julius Peppers to retirement, they gotten younger as they drafted hybrid defensive player Brian Burns at No. 16. They also added Christian Miller from the third round of the draft. Oh yeah that’s right, they signed defensive tackle Gerald McCoy to a deal.
It should solidify the defense, but nothing primarily changed on the offense. Except for bringing in center Matt Paradis. Just hope everything goes right.
For Carolina, I can’t seem to get a gauge and what team they will be. Will they be a running team starting with running back Christian McCaffery or are they going let Newton do everything again?
Lets believe everything will go right for them. Just please avoid another collapse again.
New Orleans Saints
Yes, we get it. You lost in the NFC Championship due to a bad call. Time to move on now.
The Saints should rebound mightily this upcoming season though. With the two-headed running attack of Alvin Kamara and new addition Latavius Murray.
Also to add in wide receiver Michael Thomas with his new recent payday and involving hybrid quarterback Taysom Hill.
The defense should also be fine. As long as they all can mesh together.
New Orleans should be primed for another Super Bowl run, especially coming out from another tough division.
Quarterback Drew Brees is coming to an end of a long, successful future Hall of Fame career, maybe if you could get him his one more ring he potentially deserves, all things will work out right at the end.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
For Tampa Bay, Bruce Arians has came out of retirement and became their newest head coach, and it seems to be the right move.
His first problem, what does he do with quarterback Jameis Winston?
The Bucs should make strides to getting their offense in gear. They still have wide receiver Mike Evans, but they lost Adam Humphries to free agency.
The only suitable upgrades I seen were on defense, as they brought in Todd Bowles as their defensive coordinator and signing Ndamukong Suh to replace Gerald McCoy.
They also provided youth for the defense as they drafted linebacker Devin White at No. 5 overall.
I believe that Arians will give Winston some good guidance like he did at various teams, but he’ll likely find a quarterback of his own soon.
As for the team around them, they’ll be provide some good results but it won’t be enough to compete in the division of theirs. Just hope for the future, the young guys can step up and potentially lead them to their playoffs since over a decade.
Season Record Projections:
1) New Orleans Saints 11-5*
2) Carolina Panthers 9-7
3) Atlanta Falcons
4) Tampa Bay Buccaneers 6-10
Summary: Just like last year, the Saints should get their team together for the long run. So I have them winning the division this year and getting a bye.
Carolina will be over .500, but like the Philadelphia Eagles, they will miss the playoffs just barely.
With the way the conference is this year, it will be a tight finish for each division. But only one winner from the NFC South will emerge.