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NFC South After Week 11: Panthers Lose Ground on a Bye

The Saints did their part, the rest of the division just needs to quit winning.

NFL: Washington Redskins at New Orleans Saints Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Coming into Week 11, the 2nd Place Carolina Panthers (a half-game behind the New Orleans Saints) finally had their Bye week. The last place Tampa Bay Buccaneers traveled to Miami to face the Dolphins and the Saints played host to Kirk Cousins and the Redskins on Sunday. The Atlanta Falcons played what seemed to be a must-win game on Monday Night Football in Seattle to face Russell Wilson and the Seahawks.

So what happened in Week 11?

Each NFC South team in action won their game. The Buccaneers were able to knock Jay Cutler out of the game and then beat Matt Moore and Company with a 30-20 final score. The New Orleans Saints won a comeback thriller against the Redskins, stealing the game in overtime to extend their winning streak to eight straight games. The Atlanta Falcons tried giving up a late lead, but a last second field goal off the boot of Blair Walsh fell just short, helping Atlanta salvage a 34-31 win.

This means the Saints (8-2) are now a full game up on the 2nd Place Carolina Panthers (7-3), with the Atlanta Falcons (6-4) not out of the picture just yet. The Buccaneers (4-6) are far from mathematically eliminated, but they would need a lot to go right to make things interesting.

Next week, the entire division is back in action as all of the Bye weeks are officially over. The Atlanta Falcons have a divisional matchup at home against Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the Carolina Panthers travel to struggling New York Jets. Both of those games are Sunday at noon CST. The Saints were also originally scheduled for noon, but have been flexed to a Sunday afternoon kickoff, where they face the Los Angeles Rams in what could very well be a preview of a postseason game.

This could very well be the toughest matchup the Saints have faced since their Week 2 loss to New England. Win, and let the rest of the division take care of itself. #BeattheRams