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NFC South After Week 14: Saints Still in First, Barely

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Coming into Week 14, the New Orleans Saints had a chance to put the division further out of reach by facing the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta on Thursday Night Football. The Carolina Panthers had a tough match-up at home to face another NFC playoff team, the Minnesota Vikings. The lowly Tampa Bay Buccaneers were home to face the Detroit Lions.

So what happened in Week 14?

It wasn’t a good week for New Orleans. No one cares really what happened for the Buccaneers as far as the division is concerned, but they lost to the Lions, 24-21, effectively eliminating the Bucs from playoff contention. The referees Atlanta Falcons beat the Saints 17-20, and with a Panthers win (24-31), the division is as tight as ever at the top. The Saints and Panthers are both currently 9-4 with the Saints in first place based off tie-breakers. The Falcons are at their heels at 8-5, while the Bucs are still in the basement at 4-9.

Next week, the Saints are back home to face the AFC East’s New York Jets. The Carolina Panthers don’t get it any easier this week, as they get prepared for the possible return of Aaron Rodgers with the Green Bay Packers. Both of those games are Sunday at noon CST. Saints fans will be cheering for the Buccaneers to “eat the W” against the Atlanta Falcons Monday Night on Monday Night Football.

The Falcons get to face a Bucs team in a contest they’re likely to win. We can’t afford a loss. Win, and let the rest of the division take care of itself. #BeattheJets