Around the league:My NFC South projections


Aug 5, 2012; Canton, OH, USA; Arizona Cardinals defensive line lines up against New Orleans Saints offensive line during the first quarter of a preseason game at Fawcett Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-US PRESSWIRE

For years the NFC South has been a tough divison. In my opinion right now, it’s the best in football. These are my projections for the south this year.

4. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers: This offseason was by far the best in franchise history forTampa. They added lots of talent on offense and defense. However, we’ve seen first hand what lots of spending and trading can do to a team i.e. The Philadelphia Eagles two years back. They traded away Kellen Winslow jr. who in my opinion was one of the better young tight-ends in the league. They added obviously Vincent Jackson that will help the passing game, but it’s hard for me to see them having much success. With a rookie head coach I think players will find it hard to buy in. A full offseason will help the team gel but I think they’re a year or two out of being competitive again. As far as talent goes this is probably one of the top 2 Bucs teams of all time. With Josh Freeman who has lots of “potential” and a solid back in LaGarret Blount, the offense should be good. I really like their offensive line this year with the addition of Carl Nicks. On defense the draft was good as they got Mark Barron who will be an impact player right away. ThisTampaBay team is very talented. My questions are in the morale and togetherness of the team.

3. The Atlanta Falcons: To be very honest,Atlanta had their chances. They had been to the playoffs the past couple years and never did anything. I’m not saying Matt Ryan is a bust by any means, the only reason they get to third not fourth place is because of him. I’m saying that Michael Turner gets older as everyone does, they don’t have a plan at tight-end other than Tony Gonzalez in his final year, they have some young receivers but that doesn’t mean they’re that great. On defense is where this team will shine. They’ll be the best in the division and will help this team win some games. Matt Ryan and Roddy White will lead the offense, but the playoff window has closed.

2. The New   Orleans Saints: The Saints are still a good football team. They will still win games, the offense will still score points, and the defense will still be good enough to win games they’re supposed to win. Looking at the schedule they should have about 10 wins mostly on game they’re supposed to win. It’ll be the 50/50 games that will be tough such as @Carolina, @Green Bay, and vs.San Diego. Games like that will give the Saints fits, especially games in the first five weeks that Joe Vitt won’t be able to coach in. The Saints are again a good football team however, off the field distractions will keep them from winning the division and maybe out of the playoffs

1. The Carolina Panthers: This will be another close division and I see the Panthers narrowly winning it. The offensive fire power is there. Cam Newton is really my only question, will he be able to live up to the hype of last year? I think he will, he’s got a strong arm, the ability to keep a play going, and some nice receivers to help him out. The running game will play a huge part in their season, in my opinion they have the best running back “committee” in the NFL. On defense they added Luke Kuechly in the draft and he’ll be a solid linebacker. This team may be, quietly, one of the better teams in the NFC this year.

As always, thanks for reading and I’ll catch you next time.