2018 NFC South Division Preview

Last Season:

New Orleans Saints: 11-5

Carolina Panthers: 11-5

Atlanta Falcons: 10-6

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 5-11

2018 Season Outlook:

New Orleans Saints: If not for the Minnesota Miracle, the New Orleans Saints could’ve possibly won a Super Bowl so don’t expect their play to dial back this season as they look for vengeance. Drew Brees, one of the greatest and most underrated quarterbacks of all time, leads a potent Saints offense that was fourth in the league last year in points per game and, with the help of Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara, was fifth in the league in total rushing yards. The Saints’ young, dynamic talent brings firepower to complement Brees’s seasoned and calculated passing attack which should create a lot of TD’s for players like Michael Thomas. In addition, although the Saints are known for having historically sub par defenses, their defense last year was one of the best in the league posting the tenth ranked team defense according to Pro Football Reference. Similar to their offense, the Saints’ defense has a smattering of young talent such as Cameron Jordan, Marshon Lattimore, and Marcus Williams; players that should cause turnovers.

Atlanta Falcons: The Falcons, another Super Bowl dark horse, are poised for a great season while still trying to avenge their devastating Super Bowl loss to the Patriots. The Falcons haven’t added as much talent as other teams this offseason but they’re a team that continues to rapidly develop. Matt Ryan, although slightly overrated, is still a competent starting QB that is able to find holes in the defense. Talented wide receivers like Julio Jones, Mohammed Sanu, and Taylor Gabriel return as key pieces in Atlanta’s air attack. Furthermore, the Falcons have one of the best offensive lines in the NFL(2nd according to Pro Football Focus),only allowing 148 pressures last year, which is a vital element in giving Matt Ryan time to dissect opposing defenses. While the Falcons did lose Dontari Poe, a key member of their front seven, they still have proficient defense led by young talent like Vic Beasley and Deion Jones.

Carolina Panthers: Carolina, coming off an 11-5 season, would be a top two team in essentially every other decision but considering how difficult the NFC South is they come in at number three. Cam Newton still hasn’t proven to me that he is a consistent NFL superstar, but he can win multiple games on his sheer athleticism and arm power. The Panthers are dual wielding a capable combination of offensive and defense lines. Specifically, the defense is filled with talent like Luke Kuechly, Dontari Poe, and Kawann Short who should be able to apply pressure to the quarterback and limit opponents’ offensive possession time.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Tampa Bay is simply just a mess. With Jameis Winston suspended, their offensive line being one of the worst in the NFL, and a lack of talent on defense, look for the Bucs to be one of the worst teams in the NFL.

2018 Predicted Standings:

New Orleans Saints: 12-4

Atanta Falcons: 11-5

Carolina Panthers: 10-6

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 3-13