September 8, 2009

NFC South preview

by Dan Bilicki In: Football

The South is a division without a lot of constants. No team has really grabbed hold and ran with the title and no team has really stayed away from the lottery for a long period of time. This season should see a shakeup again, unless teams can produce the consistency that has been so elusive.

Carolina Panthers (Last season: 12-4).
It may just be the awful performance by Jake Delhomme in the NFC Championship that’s fresh in my mind, but it’s hard to believe that Carolina will be anywhere near as good as they were last season. The Cats defence was deceptively bad last season and got more credit than they deserved. Their highly touted running back duo of Deangelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart are both susceptible to injuries and underperforming. Playing in a division where no team repeats is also a minus.
Predicted record: 6-10.

Atlanta Falcons (Last season: 11-5).
The Falcons were the feel-good story of the league last year. Being lead by a rookie coach, rookie QB Matt Ryan and unheralded RB Michael Turner, the Falcons surprised everyone by jumping into the playoffs after a 4-12 campaign. This season the schedule gets harder and teams have a whole season of film to study on these former underdogs. While a regression to the top-10 in the draft isn’t likely, a .500 season is.
Predicted record: 8-8.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Last season: 9-7).
The Bucs went into rebuild mode last season when they let their defensive coordinator walk away and then choked away their hold of a playoff spot on the last day of the season. This year they won’t even have a chance to choke away a lead. With an unsettled and unenviable QB situation and freshman coach, things won’t be too nice by the Bay this season.
Predicted record: 6-10.

New Orleans Saints (Last season: 8-8).
As long as the Saints have Drew Brees quarterbacking them, they will never have trouble moving the ball and scoring. Even with two inconsistent RBs (Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas), they’ll be near the top of the league in points and yards. The problem in years past has been their defence and now they’ve really started to piece together a solid unit. They’re not going to rival the Steelers or Ravens, but they won’t be among the dregs and that will give them a shot at the division.
Predicted record: 10-6.

Leave a Reply