The NFC South is the worst division in football, and anyone could come out as the winner. The Falcons, Saints, and Buccaneers are in a three-way battle for the title, and NFL executives have no idea who will take it.
From ESPN, the NFC South winner is ‘anyone’s guess’
The only near certainty in the NFL’s weakest division is that the Panthers aren’t contending for a Super Bowl this year.
But the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons have shown glimpses of playoff potential. The Saints are considered the safest bet of the group, now that Derek Carr looks more comfortable in the offense over the past two weeks.
“Defense is sound, physical, big, offensive line very good, their running backs and wide receivers are dynamic,” an AFC personnel man said of New Orleans. “QB is streaky — they’d be a 12-4 team if he were more consistent in my opinion.”
If I was a betting man, I’d place my wager on the Saints. I know Falcons fans don’t want to hear it, but Atlanta isn’t in an envious position with Arthur Smith, Taylor Heinicke, and no Grady Jarrett.
Meanwhile, the New Orleans defense is a top five unit in football and can carry the offense while Derek Carr and Pete Carmichael work out their kinks. I still wouldn’t put a ton of faith in Carr and Carmichael because both have proven to be unreliable when the going gets tough.
The Falcons still control their own destiny and draw the Saints after a bye week in Atlanta, so there are reasons to be optimistic. However, it’s looking like the division could potentially come down to a Week 18 contest in New Orleans. If that’s a win-and-get-in situation, I don’t like the Falcons’ chances.
Photographer: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire