For the time being, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are sole owners of the NFC South. On Sunday, that could change. A divisional contest between the New Orleans Saints and the Atlanta Falcons could shake things up.
Finding their home in the basement of the NFC South, The New Orleans Saints had a decisive loss to the Bucs in week one. Last week, in a game which most people expected the Saints to bounce back, they did. However, the Browns gave them all they could handle last Sunday.
New Orleans was held to just three points through the first three quarters. Not what you would expect from a Saints team which many projected to go to the playoffs before the season and a far cry from what we saw from this group in week one.
The Saints are a missed field goal away from possibly being 0-2, with both games being at home. What’s more concerning is they haven’t really established what they want to be as a football team. They were a great running team last year, but have not been able to get things going on the ground this season.
If the Saints don’t figure things out soon, they’re going to be in trouble. This is especially true with a divisional matchup against Atlanta coming this week.
Undefeated no more
The Panthers lost their matchup with the Falcons. This left the Bucs in sole possession of first place in the NFC South. The Panthers took a lead early on, but the Falcons took a big lead in the second half. Although the Panthers had a shot to tie it up on the last play of the game, it never really seemed that close, after half time.
Christian McCaffery made several big plays with the ball in his hands and helped carry the Panthers offense when Cam Newton was struggling with his accuracy early in the game.
Realistically this isn’t a bad loss for Carolina, even though the offense didn’t look particularly good in the first half against a banged up Falcons defense. Regardless, this one had a major impact on the standings for the Bucs!!!
Falcons take off
The team I’ve called the favorite in the NFC South has their first win of the year. The offense looked better in this one as they put up 31 points against a good Carolina defense. Matt Ryan looked much better in this game than he did last week in Philadelphia and they were able to throw the ball pretty well also. All in all, a good home opener for Atlanta.
It’s worth noting though, that the losses of Keanu Neal and Deion Jones were very noticable. Christian McCaffery was left wide open on most of his receptions and was able to gash the Falcons in the open field.
It’s hard to imagine that being the case if Atlanta had their starting middle linebacker and strong safety, two positions that typically cover running backs. Frankly, it was concerning despite the win. If not for Cam Newton being extremely inaccurate in the first half, this could have easily been an 0-2 start for the Falcons.