Explanations of my NFC South Predictions

by Omar Barakat. 0 Comments

Here are my explanations for my NFC South Predictions.  I will repost the standings for the division and then give a little team by team breakdown to explain my reasoning for the specific record.

 

NFC South

Atlanta Falcons.............11-5

Carolina Panthers...........7-9

Tampa Bay Buccaneers...6-10

New Orleans Saints.........6-10

Atlanta Falcons

 

I like the Atlanta Falcons to make some noise this year.  We all know they have an explosive offense which should be even more explosive this season.  Not only does wide receiver Julio Jones have a year with quarterback Matt Ryan under his belt, but the same offensive weapons are back for another run.  The Falcons also hired a new offensive coordinator in Dirk Koetter.  Reports indicate that he has simplified the playbook which should really help Matt Ryan especially out of the no huddle. Defensively, the addition of Asante Samuel should bolster a weak secondary.

Carolina Panthers

 

It is hard to predict how good the Panthers will be this season.  It all starts with quarterback Cam Newton.  Will he suffer from a sophomore slump or continue to impress?  At receiver, primary target Steve Smith is aging and could be set to decline.  However, tight end Greg Olsen is still there and Brandon LaFell seems poised to breakout this season.  The Panthers also have a four headed rushing monster in Newton, DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart, and Mike Tolbert.  The defense is a bit of an unknown.  The Panthers could contend for the playoffs, but I think they are still a year away.

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

 

I think the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be much improved compared to last year's squad.  They have a new head coach in Greg Schiano who should change the culture in Tampa Bay.  After a horrible season last year, I expect Josh Freeman to bounce back.  I don't think he puts up 25 touchdowns to six interceptions like he did two years ago, but he will be closer to those numbers than last year's 16 touchdowns and 22 interceptions.  One reason is additional experience while the other is the new weapons the team added. They brought in wide receiver Vincent Jackson and tight end Dallas Clark. They also drafted running back Doug Martin to team with LaGarrette Blount.  It's a good start.

New Orleans Saints

I think the Saints are in huge trouble this season.  It is really going to hurt having to play the entire season without head coach Sean Payton.  To make matters worse, the Saints will be without interim coach Joe Vitt for the first six games of the season.  Their defense is shaky even if the suspensions to Jonathan Vilma and Will Smith are not reinstated.  Vilma will miss time either way due to a knee injury which has him on the physically unable to perform list.  The Saints also have a tough schedule.  That is too much to overcome no matter how great your quarterback is and how talented the offense can be.

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