Now that we have the NFC East and North out of the way, we head to the NFC South. Last year was a 3-team race between the Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints. The Saints won the division with the Falcons and Panthers finished a game behind. This year we should have the same kind of race, but Tampa Bay could be a part of it. Atlanta and New Orleans are two of the favorites from the NFC to reach the Super Bowl. Will Tampa Bay be a part of this proposed 3-team race to win the division? Can this division produce three teams to make the playoffs? Let’s take a peek at what should transpire for the NFC South?
The Atlanta Falcons finished with a 10-6 record and lost to the Philadelphia Eagles in the Divisional Round of the playoffs. Atlanta definitely had an unforgettable offseason that saw them honor Matt Ryan with a huge contract extension. They lost Taylor Gabriel through free agency, but they drafted Calvin Ridley with their first round pick. The big news was the uncertainty of the future of Julio Jones as they had contract issues but was later resolved. With the Super Bowl being in Atlanta this year, can the Falcons be the first team to have a home Super Bowl game? If healthy, Atlanta is solid on both sides of the ball and Matt Ryan could have another MVP type season. Atlanta should be in the running for the division as I’m predicting they will finish with a 11-5 record.
The Carolina Panthers finished with a 10-6 record and they lost to the New Orleans Saints in the Wild Card. Carolina surprised many last season with their playoff run because there were many uncertainties. Carolina continues to try to replace Josh Norman in the secondary by adding Ross Cockrell and Da’Norris Searcy. They also added Dontari Poe and re-signed Julius Peppers to help on the defensive side of the ball. Thomas Davis will miss the first four games due to suspension. On the offensive side of the ball, they loss Jonathon Stewart from their backfield, who’s been there for the last decade. Carolina will have a decline this season as I’m going with them to finish with an 8-8 record.
New Orleans Saints
The New Orleans Saints finished with a 11-5 record, won the division and lost to the Vikings in the Minnesota Miracle. New Orleans are in win mode right now and they secured Drew Brees a few more years by giving him an $50 million extension. On the offensive side of the ball, New Orleans brought in Ben Watson to help out Drew Brees more. New Orleans continued to upgrade their defense with several signings. Alex Okafor, Patrick Robinson and Demario Davis were brought in. As mentioned above, New Orleans is considered one of the favorites to make that Super Bowl run. New Orleans should be in the position to win the division as they finish with a 11-5 record.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Tampa Buccaneers finished with a 5-11 record last season and finished at the bottom of the division. The big news coming from Tampa Bay is Jameis Winston being suspended the first three games of the season. With so much focus being put on Jameis Winston, the Bucs upgraded their defense in a major way. Tampa Bay started out by traded for Jason Pierre-Paul from the New York Giants. In free agency, they brought in Vinny Curry and Beau Allen from the Philadelphia Eagles. If the Bucs defense can live up to their expectations, this defense could be one of the better ones. With Winston missing the first three games, it’ll be hard for the Bucs to make up those games. I’m predicting the Buccaneers will finish with a 6-10 record.
My 2018-2019 NFC South Prediction
- New Orleans 11-5
- Atlanta Falcons 11-5
- Carolina Panthers 8-8
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers 6-10
What do you think about my thoughts of the NFC South this upcoming season? How do you see things playing out? Will the division come down between the Falcons and Saints? Leave a comment below.