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NFL Divisional Preview: NFC South

One of the most interesting divisions in all of the National Football league in 2014 will be the NFC South. The South contains the Carolina Panthers, who are looking to defend their divisional title. The New Orleans Saints have been the class of the division for most of the last 10 years, but seem to have defensive issues that plague them. The Atlanta Falcons are certainly expected to be better than their four wins of a season ago. Julio Jones appears to be healthy and on hiw way back this season. Lastly, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers under new head coach Lovie Smith will be better than a season ago. While someone has to finish first, and someone has to finish last, it wouldn’t be a surprise if 3 of the 4 teams are improved from last year.

New Orleans has Drew Brees, Atlanta has Matt Ryan, Carolina has Cam Newton, while Tampa Bay is seeking out who is going to take the reins. Will it remain Josh McCown for the Buccaneers or will Mike Glennon take over the role? The Buccaneers like their addition of Mike Evans at receiver, while Carolina is seeking out who is going to take charge at receiving role. Julio Jones is back, will that make Matt Ryan go back to his former star passing self? Alot of questions throughout the NFC South that training camp and the first few weeks of the season will answer.

Some notable games on the NFC South schedule include the following: New Orleans plays at Atlanta in the opening week of the season. This should be an early test for Drew Brees to go on the road against a team many feel will be significantly improved. The Falcons return the trip in week 16 on December 21st. The Saints and Carolina play their two games on October 30th and December 7th. Tampa Bay plays their first two games at home this season; with Carolina and St. Louis. The Buccaneers absolutely feel they have a shot to come out of the gate at 2-0. The Buccaneers finish the season on December 28th against the Saints, so that could be a big divisional game. Carolina ends their season on December 28th at the Falcons; so this division will start the season and end the season against divisional foes.

This is a really tough division to handicap. If we had to make predictions on this division, we would take the New Orleans Saints to win. The defense should certainly improve, and we know with Drew Brees, they are not a team to count out. It will be interesting to see how the Saints can play in colder weather in December. Coming in second will be the Atlanta Falcons. Look for Matt Ryan and Julio Jones to have a nice season together. Alot of Atlanta’s fate could come down to how well they can run the football. Third, we have the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, followed by the Carolina Panthers. Cam Newton does not have much as far as weapons behind him, so we are picking Carolina to go from first to worst in the NFC South.

 

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