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The NFC South After Week 5: The Least Favorable Outcomes

Really, this was the worst-case scenario, but it's still not that bad.

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Coming into Week 5, the 1-3 New Orleans Saints were on their Bye while the Atlanta Falcons were in first place in the division at 3-1 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Carolina Panthers each tied at 1-3.

So what happened in Week 5?

In what was probably the biggest surprise to everyone but Falcons fans, the Atlanta Falcons were able to defeat the previously undefeated Denver Broncos. It was a close game as the Falcons were not able to light up the scoreboard against the tough Denver D, but the Broncos were without their Opening Week starting QB in Trevor Siemien. Rookie QB Paxton Lynch played fine in his first NFL start, but the Broncos were just unable to consistently move the ball against a weak Falcons defense.

The Carolina Panthers (also without their starting QB in Cam Newton) played the rival Tampa Bay Buccaneers, with the Bucs winning a nail-biter to improve to 2-3, dropping the Panthers to 1-4. As it stands right now, the 1-4 Panthers are in last place in the NFC South, with the New Orleans Saints one spot better at 1-3, the Bucs in second place at 2-3, and the Falcons beginning to pull away in first at 4-1.

But don't worry - the season is still young, and a lot can change.

In Week 6, the 3rd place Saints face the 4th place Panthers in New Orleans. The 1st place Falcons travel to Seattle to play the 1st place (in the NFC East) Seahawks, and the 2nd place Bucs have a Bye week. With a win against the Panthers in Week 6, the Saints can move into a 2nd place tie with Tampa Bay, each being 2-3. If Seattle is able to beat Atlanta (not impossible), the Falcons would drop to 4-2. That would put the Saints only 1.5 games out of first place.

But first things first. #BeatthePanters