NFC South Preview

NFC South Preview

Jarrett Bailey, Sports Writer

The NFL Season is in full swing, so I’ll make the rest of these quick and sweet, starting with the NFC South.

  1. Panthers (11-5): The Panthers have fought their way to being an almost elite team, and I see another great year for them in 2015. They have a very capable, and very charismatic leader in QB Cam Newton, who has emerged as one of the games best. Now, the Panthers lost kelvin Benjamin at receiver to a torn ACL, so Ted Gin Jr. and Corey Brown will have to be on top of their games, as will tight end Greg Olsen. On the opposite side of the ball, they have, in my opinion, the NFL’s best linebacker in Luke Kuechly. He didn’t win the defensive player of the year award for nothing, Kuechly is elite and the anchor of this defense. In the secondary, they got the wiley vet Peanut Tillman at cornerback and Roman Harper at safety, both vets, both very capable at doing their jobs. I like the Panthers odds at taking the division this year and making a playoff run.
  2. Falcons (9-7): The falcons have struggled the past few seasons, but I see some improvement this year. Matt Ryan has two of the NFL’s best receivers opposite each other in Julio Jones and Roddy White. Jones has really fallen into his own and really emerged as a go-to target that keeps opposing defenses on their toes. Defensively, I like Tyson Jackson at defensive end as the leader of the entire unit. Desmond Trufant is a guy I’m keeping an eye on at safety, as well. This Falcons D is going to have to be very strong in order for the Birds to fight for a wildcard spot.
  3. Buccaneers (6-10): Although I see a sub-.500 record for Tampa this year, I wouldn’t call it a “down year”. The Bucs have a lot to be excited about, especially Jameis Winston at quarterback. If Jameis can really develop into a good NFL QB, and use guys like Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans at Wide Receiver, imagine where this team can go in a year or two. And if the passing game works out, that will open more windows for the “Muscle Hamster” Doug Martin. Now, on defesne, it’s kind of the same story. I like Gerald McCoy on the defensive line and Major Wright in the secondary. It may take a season, but when this team does click, they will be a dangerous group.
  4. Saints (4-12): The Saints made probably the biggest bonehead move of the off-season when they traded Jimmy Graham, Drew Brees’s favorite target, to the Seahawks. The New Orleans offense is going to have to rely heavily on Marques Colston at receiver in the passing game. Mark Ingram is going to have to have a large impact, as well. On defense, I actually like the secondary for this team. Kenny Vaccaro is a guy at safety that I see as being underrated and could have a nice year. At cornerback, they have a good corps with Keenan Lewis and Brandon Browner, but the secondary can’t be the anchor of the defensive unit. Their front seven will have to come together and produce, but I don’t see much happening there. Overall, I see a down year in the Big Easy.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email