When it comes to the NFC South, it is the New Orleans’ Saints’ to lose. The Saints are easily the best, most talented team in the NFC South and I don’t think its close. After two disappointing/controversial playoff defeats in back to back seasons, the Saints will look to get over the hump in the 2019 season to win their second Super Bowl in franchise history. As for the rest of the NFC South, there isn’t much to talk about. The Falcons and the Panthers will be in a battle for second place while the Buccaneers will be in competition for the number one pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Barring a spectacular collapse by the Saints, they will easily win the NFC South and be a favorite to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. So now that the cat’s out the bag let’s take a look at the NFC South!
New Orleans Saints: 12-4
To the shock of literally no one, I have the New Orleans Saints winning the NFC South pretty easily. There is not a doubt in my mind whether or not the Saints will win the NFC South my question for the Saints is if they will be able to make it back to the Super Bowl and win it. My answer is they can make it back but I’m not sure they will. The biggest competition for the Saints in the NFC is the Rams and Eagles. I would give them a good chance to beat either of these teams in an NFC Championship matchup but I wouldn’t put money on it. If I can be honest, I would love to see the Saints make the Super Bowl to see a potential legend vs legend matchup between Drew Brees and Tom Brady or a legend vs rising star matchup between Brees and Patrick Mahomes. Only time will tell if the Saints will be able to pull off a Super Bowl appearance but one things for sure, they will be in the postseason maybe even with a first-round bye.
Atlanta Falcons: 8-8
Coming in at second place in the NFC South is the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons have not been the same team since their Super Bowl appearance in the 2016 season. The one thing that continues to work for the Falcons is their passing game. Matt Ryan and Julio Jones have carried the offense to success but their running game has not successful as it was in the 2016 season. The key for the Falcons on offense is to improve their running game if they are able to do that they could be better than expected. As far as their defense, they improved in the 2017 season only to take a step back last season. Even during their 2016 season their defense was not very good but they showed potential. If they are able to produce the way they did in the 2017 season they could be a playoff contender but this is where I have them for now.
Carolina Panthers: 7-9
In third place with back to back 7-9 seasons is the Carolina Panthers. Like the Falcons, the Panthers have just not been the same team since their Super Bowl appearance in the 2015 season. Cam Newton specifically has not been the same since the 2015 season as he has not been able to put up the same numbers from a season where he won AP MVP. At best, the Panthers have been an on the bubble playoff team far from being good enough to compete for a Super Bowl appearance. With Cam Newton’s best years behind him, I’m not sure how long it will be before the Panthers are serious championship contenders again.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 4-12
Rounding out the NFC South is the team that has finished last in the division seven of the past eight seasons the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Buccaneers have not made the playoffs since 2007 the second longest current playoff drought and I don’t see any sign of that ending any time soon. Unlike the team with the longest playoff drought (Cleveland Browns since 2002), the Buccaneers have not made any game changing additions to help make them a contender. Since 2007, the Bucs have only finished four of a possible twelve seasons with a winning record and just one season with 10 wins or more. The Bucs current roster is just not talented enough and their top stars have underachieved to make them contenders any time soon. For these reasons, I have the Bucs finishing in last place in the NFC South and in contention for the number one pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.