Coming into Week 10, all NFC South teams were active. The first place 6-3 Falcons traveled to the Meadowlands to face the struggling Philadelphia Eagles. The Saints, in second place at 4-4, hosted the defending Super Bowl Champion Denver Broncos. The third place Bucs hosted the dumpster-fire Chicago Bears, and the last place Panthers hosted the returning Alex Smith and the Kansas City Chiefs.
So what happened in Week 10?
Atlanta lost to Carson Wentz and the Eagles, 15-24, meaning all of the NFC South teams had a chance to gain ground on the division leader. After Week 9 when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were the only NFC South team to lose their game, in Week 10, the Bucs were the only team able to get a victory.
Tampa Bay beat Chicago handily, 10-36. Then the Carolina Panthers lost a close game at home on a last-second FG to the Chiefs, 20-17. The Panthers remain in last place, now at 3-6. With the Bucs winning and the Saints losing, the two teams are tied gain in second place at 4-5, with the Atlanta Falcons staying atop the division at 6-4.
Next week, the Panthers and Saints play on short rest in Carolina in Thursday Night Football. The Bucs will travel to Arrowhead to face the Kansas City Chiefs, and the Atlanta Falcons will finally take their Bye.
The Saints remain only one game out in the loss column, one-and-a-half games out of first place in the division. The Saints can close out that half-game distance with a win over the Panthers, with their fate entirely in their hands with one match-up left against the Falcons.
Win, and let’s let the rest of the division take care of itself. #BeatthePanthers