The NFC South currently has three teams tied atop the standings with a 1-1 record, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers holding the edge in tie-breakers with their win coming over another NFC South team, the Atlanta Falcons (1-1). The New Orleans Saints are alone in the basement with a record of 0-2 after two weeks. So how did we get here?
The Panthers, after not being able to squeak out a victory in Denver in Week 1, had a roaring 2nd half at home to stomp the San Francisco 49ers 46-27. At halftime, the Panthers were only up 17-10 as the Blaine Gabbert-led (yes, THAT Blaine Gabbert) 49ers offense was able to put up just enough points to keep it close. The reigning MVP Cam Newton then put his foot on the gas and the Panthers put their foot on the 9ers throats for an impressive win.
The Falcons travelled to Oakland to face the Raiders, where they were able to even out their record to 1-1 after a 35-28 win. This is the same Raiders team that beat the Saints in New Orleans in Week 1. And Week 1 is the same week that saw the Atlanta Falcons lose at home to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Speaking of the Buccaneers, they got embarrassed 40-7 on the road against Arizona. Carson Palmer eventually was benched during the final quarter as the Cardinals were able to rest some of their starters. This is the same Cardinals team that got beat at home to a Patriots squad without Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski in Week 1.
The New Orleans Saints lost another heart-breaker 16-13 to the New York Giants. The defense kept the Giants out of the endzone the entire game, and forced three turnovers, all while losing CB P.J. Williams to a concussion early in the game.
In Week 3, the Saints host the 1-1 Falcons on Monday Night Football. The Bucs host the Los Angeles Rams, who just beat the Seattle Seahawks in Week 2. The Panthers host the Minnesota Vikings in Week 3, a game that could really go either way, after the Vikings were able to beat the Green Bay Packers in Sam Bradford's first game as the Minnesota QB.
Even at 0-2, the Saints are in a division without an undefeated team, and without a dominating team who looks to run away with the division. That makes the Saints game next week all the more important.