Coming into Week 8, all NFC South teams were active and played at home. The first place 4-3 Falcons welcomed the second place (in the NFC North) Green Bay Packers. The second place Bucs hosted the AFC East leading Oakland Raiders. The third place Saints hosted the NFC West leading Seattle Seahawks. And the last place Panthers hosted third place NFC West Arizona Cardinals.
So what happened in Week 8?
Atlanta was able to barely eke out a 1-point victory over the Green Bay Packers to keep their hold on first place in the NFC South. Derek Carr and the Oakland Raiders were able to lead a game-tying drive at the end of regulation to get the win in overtime against Tampa Bay. In two of the bigger upsets across the NFL last week, the Panthers (handily) beat the Cardinals 30-20 and the Saints were able to hold on to the last second and beat the Seahawks.
This meant all of the NFC South teams except the Bucs won their games last week, with the Falcons improving to 5-3, the Panthers improving to 2-5, and with the Saints and Bucs records now even at 3-4. So now, your New Orleans Saints are tied for second place with the Bucs (with two games left to play against Tampa) and still only one and a half games behind the Falcons for first (with one game left to play in Atlanta).
Next week, the last place Panthers will travel to Los Angeles to face off against Todd Gurley and the Rams. The Falcons and Bucs will play in Tampa Bay, and while the Bucs are 0-3 at home this season, they have already beaten the Falcons once this season. The Saints will play in San Francisco against the 49ers in an afternoon game.
You never want to overlook any game, and the Saints game this week against the 49ers could very well be a trap. That being said, this will be the first time in a few weeks the Saints will most likely be the favorites to win, so that will be refreshing. The Panthers will most likely beat the Rams, but the two teams ahead of the Saints right now have to play each other.
Win, and let’s let the rest of the division take care of itself. #Beatthe49ers