NFC South Season W-L Predictions
The NFC South will be one of the most competitive divisions if not the most competitive in the NFL this season. The biggest news for this division is Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski joining Tampa Bay this offseason. The Panthers hired Matt Rhule from Baylor, released Cam Newton and signed Teddy Bridgewater to replace the former MVP. The Saints and Falcons didn’t make any major changes to their teams. The offenses in these divisions are going to score a lot of points so the team with the best defense may be at the top at the end of the regular season.
The Panthers with Matt Rhule now at the helm will compete hard but winning may come hard for this team. New offensive coordinator Joe Brady will look to create the same magic he had last at LSU and he has some pieces to do so with Bridgewater, Christian McCaffrey and DJ Moore. The defense struggled last year to a tune of 31st in points allowed and they lost one of the best defenders in the NFL in Luke Kuechly to retirement. Having to face Brady, Brees and Ryan two times a year is a tough task for this defense.
Season Prediction 4-12
The Falcons added some good weapons to the offense in Todd Gurley and TE Hayden Hurst. Add them to Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley and Matt Ryan and this offense should be very productive once again. The real question with this team is if they can improve on the defensive side of the ball. They are hoping free agent signing Dante Fowler Jr., and their first 2 draft picks AJ Terrell and Marlon Davidson can positively impact a defense that ranked 23rd in scoring last season. The Falcons will be tested early on as they play the Seahawks, Cowboys and Packers in 3 of the first 4 weeks.
Season Prediction 9-7
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers made the biggest offseason splash by signing QB Tom Brady. They also brought in veteran RB LeSean McCoy and traded for TE Rob Gronkowski who came out of retirement. Add those to Chris Godwin, Mike Evans, Cameron Brate, OJ Howard and Ronald Jones and you have one of the most complete offenses in the league. The defense did not play bad last they were just put in tough positions because of Jameis Winston turning the ball over 30 times. Look for rookie safety Antoine Winfield Jr. to be a playmaker on the defensive side of the ball.
Season Prediction 11-5
New Orleans Saints
The Saints have had a quiet offseason but the few additions they made should make immediate impacts on both sides of the ball. Veteran WR Emmanuel Sanders should create some space for fellow WR Michael Thomas and vice versa. Safety Malcom Jenkins should add a great veteran presence on the defensive side of the ball in the secondary. The offense again will be one of the best in the league considering Alvin Kamara is finally healthy after playing hurt most of last season. The Saints will look for some revenge in the regular season as they play the Vikings and 49ers both of whom beat the Saints last year.
Season Prediction 13-3