The NFC South division is the Saints to lose. The other three teams do not have what it takes to challenge for the top spot. “Who Dat” nation has an offensive attack that could possibly be the best in football.
New Orleans Saints’ success starts with the arm of Drew Brees and the high octane offense. The wide receiving corps three main receivers are Marques Colston is the hands; Devery Henderson is the speedster, and Robert Meachem is the attention grabbing deep threat. When running back Reggie Bush is thrown in the mix the passing games becomes virtually unstoppable; due in part to, linebackers cannot stay with Bush out of the backfield.
The running game is good enough to keep opponents off-balance. It is great the Saints have an awesome offense, because it covers up the shortcomings of their defense. The defense will create fumbles, but it near the bottom of the league at stopping the run and the pass. Overall, New Orleans Saints still the team to beat in the NFC South and quite possibly the entire NFC Conference.
Atlanta Falcons is inconsistent. One year Falcons make the playoffs, and the following year they do not. They had two consecutive winning seasons for the first time with a 9-7 record last season. Last season, the Falcons did not make the playoffs, and this is the year they just might bounce back. Matt Ryan is one of the better young quarterbacks in the NFL, and he should bounce back from a mediocre second season.
Falcons have a good running game with Michael Turner and Jerious Norwood running the ball. Norwood is a game breaker. Roddy White is Ryan’s go-to-guy through the air. Tony Gonzalez remains the reliable tight end that will create mismatches for the defense. The defense must make vast improvements because a 28th ranked defense seldom makes it to the playoffs. Pass rushing must improve in order for the defense to improve. Secondary also needs work. For the Falcons to be a better team, Ryan must have a great year, and the defense must make an effort to stop offense.
Carolina Panthers should be renamed Ground Attack Central, because running the ball is what the Panthers do well. The ground game features running backs DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart. Both are strong powerful runners. The passing game is somewhat a question mark, because quarterback Matt Moore does not have a full season of experience. Long time starter Jake Delhomme is a Cleveland Brown. The one explosive dynamic of the passing game is wide receiver Steve Smith. Smith remains one of the best wide receivers in the NFL.
Panthers’ defense will greatly miss the services of the passing rushing prowess of Julius Peppers. Without Peppers, the Panthers lack a consistent pass rusher on the defensive line. Jon Beason is the highlight of the Linebacker corps. He can not do it alone, but they are not many on the roster that will match his energy and skills at linebacker. The secondary is solid with Chris Gamble. Overall, the defense may find it more difficult to stop the run, and the division is packed with good running teams; therefore, only look for Carolina to finish ahead of the Buccaneers.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers are too inexperienced to challenge anyone in the division. Josh Freeman must keep his interceptions to a minimum. He will more than likely have two rookie targets to pass to in Arrelious Benn and Mike Williams. The running game is very important to the little success expected for the Buccaneers this season. The ground game is led by Cadillac Williams, but running back Derek Ward will get carries.
The defense must improve in all aspects, and it literally starts upfront for Tampa Bay. Gerald McCoy must show that he can rush the quarterback. Linebackers and secondary is suspect. A last place finish is the best the Buccaneers will do this season.