At the end of the 2016 regular season the NFC south looked like this: 1:Atlanta(11-5) 2:Buccaneers(9-7) 3:Saints(7-9) 4:Panthers(6-10). Experts that predicted Carolina to breeze through the NFC south were silent as they watched Scam Newton lead his team to double digit losses. Even though Carolina made it to the Super Bowl in 2015, they looked like a completely different team in 2016. Falcon’s fans can only pray that such a thing would never happen to them, and Atlanta certainly shouldn’t let it happen with the heavy talent they have on both sides of the ball. Here’s a look at how I see the NFC South shaping out this this coming year, 147 days before the season starts.
2:New Orleans Saints
4:Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Why Atlanta will repeat division titles: Let’s be honest, how do you get up from such a crushing Super Bowl loss? No team in the history of the NFL has been so close to a Lombardi Trophy and had it snatched from them. To make matters worse, by Tom Brady. How easy it would be for Atlanta to lie down is indescribable. The reason they won’t? Dan Quinn. Quinn’s been to the last 3 Super Bowls. The way he led a team that was less than mediocre with Mike Smith to one of the best teams in the league after just his 2nd season shows something about who he is. “We’re just getting started to what we can be”-Quinn. Even after admitting the Super Bowl is something that will forever be a scar on the team, he still believes his team can bounce back. With the Falcon’s talent on the offensive side of the ball especially, it’s believed by many they can get right back on top. After picking up players for the defensive line in free agency(Dontari Poe, Jack Crawford) and the 2017 draft coming up, the defense is likely to be stronger next year. With the talent and coaching Atlanta has going for them leading into the 2017 season, if they keep their brotherhood bond it’s a near guarantee they’ll be leaders of the division again.
Why the Saints will be playoff contenders- Finishing 7-9 last year, the Saints might be one of the most underrated teams coming into the 2017 season. Drew Brees is practically guaranteed to continue his excellence, and the rest of the offense is starting to come together for the Saints. The Saints scored 30+ 9 times last year, the problem being their defense never had the offenses back. The Saints made an attempt to improve their defense and signed defensive players such as Sterling Moore(CB), Nick Fairley(DT), and Alex Okafor(DE, LB). If the Saints have a successful draft and improve their defense even more, they’ll be hard to stop once the season rolls around.