Falcons: NFC South rundown for Week 3

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The Atlanta Falcons are doing everything they can to offset the notion that the NFC South is the best division in football. Despite the slow start, the Falcons entered Week 3 only one game behind first-place New Orleans and Tampa Bay, who both sat at 1-1 on the season. On the weekend, the NFC South went 2-2, with the two losses coming at the hands of Atlanta, who blew another fourth-quarter lead, and New Orleans.

Here is a general rundown to get you caught up on how the NFC South fared in Week 3.

Carolina (1-2)

Carolina put on a kickers clinic in Los Angeles as they went 5 for 5 on field goals to win 21-16. However, as impressive as it is to go 5 for 5 on field goals, the game itself was largely a snooze fest as each offense struggled to find results.

Granted, Los Angeles is in a transition phase as Justin Herbert attempts to find his footing in the NFL. On the opposite side, Mike Davis was tasked with filling the shoes of Christian McCaffrey. That’s impossible to do. However, Davis did a solid job, ending the game with 46 yards on the ground and another 45 through the air.

Teddy Bridgewater finished 22 for 28 and 235 yards with one score. D.J. Moore led the way with 65 yards receiving.

After earning their first win of the season, Carolina will be hosting Arizona (2-1), who lost this past weekend for the first time.

Tampa Bay (2-1)

Out of all the NFC South teams, Tampa was the brightest spot. With Drew Lock out for Denver, the Broncos had to resort to Jeff Driskel leading the way. But it probably wouldn’t have mattered because the Bucs’ defensive line had a field day against the Broncos offensive line, sacking Driskel six times, who failed to inspire much confidence.

His poor play forced Denver to send in rookie Brett Rypien, whose first possession started just fine, but an interception at the end of the drive killed any momentum he may have built. While Tom Brady and the Tampa offense struggled to put away the Broncos, scoring only five points in the second half, the defense never allowed Denver to mount a comeback.

Brady finished three yards shy of 300 in the air, his best yet in a Buccaneers uniform. Third-year receiver Scott Miller had a career day, ending with 87 yards on three receptions, while Ronald Jones continued to lead the way on the ground with 13 of the teams 20 carries, resulting in 53 yards.

Tampa will be hosting the Los Angeles Chargers (1-2) next week, who are coming off a loss to Carolina.

New Orleans (1-2)

The defending NFC South champs capped off Sunday with a 30-37 loss to Green Bay. If you’re a neutral, you probably enjoyed this highly contested showdown between two future Hall of Famers. The only satisfaction for the Falcons is that New Orleans is off to a rough start too. However, the fact that Green Bay hung up 37 on perhaps the best defense in the NFC South is a bit concerning considering the Falcons travel to Lambeau next week for Monday Night Football. 

Alvin Kamara torched the Packers defense, posting nearly 200 total yards and two scores, but even with Davante Adams out due to a hamstring, Rodgers still had a field day as Allen Lazard went crazy, recording 147 yards receiving with one touchdown. Drew Brees had a typical Drew Brees day, going 29 for 36 and finishing 12 yards shy of 300 on the night.

The Saints will be traveling to Detroit (1-2) in Week 4, who won their first game over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.

NFC South standings going into Week 4

  1. (2-1) Tampa Bay
  2. (1-2) New Orleans
  3. (1-2) Carolina
  4. (0-3) Atlanta
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