SOUTHERN COOKING

 

The NFC South has some serious star power at the Quarterback position with Matt Ryan, Drew Brees, Jameis Winston and Cam Newton. The Falcons and Panthers have represented the NFC in the last two Super Bowls, while the Bucs are on the rise and the Saints could make some major waves if the defense can step it up.

NFL Expert Analyst
Lance Goodman
SEASON PREVIEW
ATLANTA FALCONS

Atlanta came within minutes of winning Super Bowl 50 this past February but instead suffered a heart breaking defeat that will be a challenge to bounce back from. Untimely mistakes and bad play calling killed Atlanta when it counted most but the loss should serve as a painful learning lesson. Despite the missed opportunity, the Falcons have a young, fast and talented team, that is being shaped and molded into a champion by Head Coach Dan Quinn, whose really been impressive in his first 2 seasons.

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

The Buccaneers seem like last years version of the  Jaguars and Raiders. Both of those teams were being highly touted because they had solid rosters and made a huge impact through free agency and the draft. Franchise Quarterback Jameis Winston has become the teams leader in just his 3rd year and is poised for a breakout season. With two high quality options at Wide Receiver and Tight End, the Bucs primary focus should be on creating a dependable running game to bring the offense balance. Tampa also needs to improve on defense where the secondary reamins an achilles heel.

CAROLINA PANTHERS

I'm not sure what to expect from the Panthers this year. Things changed an awful lot from 2015 when they reached the Super Bowl. Quarterback Cam Newton was accurate throwing, the running game was effective and the defense was a Top 10 unit. Last year, Last year was the exact opposite with Newton inaccurate with the football, a stalled running game and mediocre defense. Carolina still has alot of good players but I'm not sure if it's enough to make another Super Bowl run.

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

New Orleans will be an interesting team to watch this season. The Saints have one of the most exciting offenses in the NFL, which makes for some great games. Quarterback Drew Brees has continued to play at an All-Pro level and Mark Ingram has done a nice job pacing the Saints ground attack but the offensive line lost some key pieces over the course of time and the Saints defense is one of the weaker units in the NFL. The new addition of Running Back Adrian Peterson, along with a stronger defense would certainly improve their chances at getting back into the Playoffs.

NFC SOUTH PROJECTED RECORDS
  • Atlanta                          11-5

  • Tampa Bay                     9-7

  • Carolina                          8-8

  • New Orleans                  8-8

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