Week nine in the NFL 2018 season will hold some weight for those teams on the cusp of either making a playoff run or looking to make it next season. The New Orleans Saints are still atop the division with the Carolina Panthers knocking on the door. Atlanta and Tampa both claim the number three spot, but over the next few weeks, we could see a possible shakeup in the division going forward. Here’s your report of all the happenings within the NFC South.

Rookie Woes

The NFC South leading Saints have begun to establish themselves as one of the best teams in the league this year. They are led by their explosive offense, but the defense has played well too. Unfortunately, one of their key players has sustained an injury on the defensive side and is going to miss some time.

Rookie Marcus Davenport has a toe injury and is expected to miss about four weeks. Davenport has shown a lot of flashes so far the season, including two sacks last week on Sunday Night Football. The Saints are extremely high on this rookie, as you may recall they traded next year’s first-round draft pick to move up and get him, and his loss will be a significant one on their defensive line.

Bye, Bye, Birdie

The Atlanta Falcons were in their bye last week and moved up in the standings due to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers loss in Cincinnati. They now sit in third place at 3-4 and are looking to keep climbing the ranks. It feels weird to say after all the injuries they’ve had, but their fairly healthy with their available guys and are ready to make their playoff push.

Their next two games are winnable, but both are on the road. This week they travel to 5-2 Washington and then they play a scrappy Browns team. At this point, almost every game is a must win for Atlanta. But if they can win these two games and get Deion Jones back healthy, then this team will be in good shape.

MVP to be?

The Panthers have gone from a blip on the radar to one of the best teams in the league. They are now 5-2 as they get ready to host the Bucs. What’s been the key to their success? You might say it’s their strong defense. Or even their top-ranked rushing offense. Personally, I’d say it’s Cam Newton.

Newton, who has had a very up and down career, maybe having his best year ever. He is currently completing 66.4% of his passes which would shatter his career high of 61.7% in 2013. He’s also throwing fewer interceptions than he ever has before with just four this year; with his previous career low being 10 in 2015. There’s no doubt in my mind, through seven games this is the best we’ve ever seen Cam Newton play.

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