Coming into Week 7, the entire NFC South was in action. The 4-2 division-leading Carolina Panthers travelled to Chicago to face rookie QB Mitchell Trubisky and the Bears. The 3-2 Atlanta Falcons finally had their chance at redemption in their Super Bowl rematch against the New England Patriots. The New Orleans Saints, also 3-2, traveled north to face the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. The last-place Tampa Bay Buccaneers travelled even further north to face the Buffalo Bills in northern New York.
So what happened in Week 7?
New Orleans was able to buckle down in the second half and get the win at Green Bay, 26-17. The Panthers lost to the Chicago Bears, with the Bears defense and running game giving something for Saints fans to think about for next week, 3-17. The Bucs lost to the Bills, 27-30, with this whacky play ending the game.
Atlanta gave up an early lead to the Patriots and then had their own late-game magic to get their Super Bowl 51 bugaboo off their back.
The Falcons, who were shutout the entire second half of last week’s game against the Miami Dolphins, were kept off the board the entire first half this week and went on to only grab a late garbage-time TD to bring the final score to 7-23. With the Panthers loss, a win by the Falcons would have kept them in a first place tie with the Saints in the division. Instead, they drop to 3-3 and 3rd place behind the Saints and 4-3 Panthers.
Next week, the entire division is still in action. The Atlanta Falcons travel to the New York Jets while the Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers have their first meeting of the season in Tampa Bay. The New Orleans Saints face the aforementioned Chicago Bears at home in New Orleans. All three games at Sunday at noon CST.
First place feels nice, but we can’t overlook Chicago. Win, and let the rest of the division take care of itself. #BeattheBears