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NFC South after Week 6: Saints gain ground on bye

It was another good week for New Orleans, and the Saints didn’t even play.

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

If the Falcons have to win, it might as well be in a way that helps the New Orleans Saints, right?

The Saints actually were able to gain ground on the majority of the NFC South, even on their bye week. Here’s how it all happened.

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Coming into Week 6, it was our first place New Orleans Saints (4-1) on their bye week. The last place Atlanta Falcons (1-4) hosted the third place Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-2). The second place Carolina Panthers (3-1) traveled to the Washington Redskins, the team the New Orleans Saints just throttled on Monday Night Football.

The Atlanta Falcons tried to pull an Atlanta Falcon by giving up another late lead for a crushing loss, but were shockingly able to hold on against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a 29-34 final score. The Falcons remain in last place but improve to 2-4, while the Buccaneers likewise remain in third place but drop to 2-3. After getting man-handled by the Saints 43-19, the Washington Redskins bounced back and held on for a win against the Carolina Panthers 23-17. The loss dropped the Panthers to 3-2, putting Carolina a full game behind the Saints in the division.

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at New Orleans Saints Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Now into Week 7, the entire NFC South is back in action. The Carolina Panthers travel to Philadelphia to play the defending Super Bowl Champion Eagles (3-3). The Tampa Bay Buccaneers host the Cleveland Browns (2-3-1) and #1 overall pick Baker Mayfield. Both of those games are Sunday at noon.

The New Orleans Saints are on the road to face Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens (3-2), as Drew Brees attempts again to beat the Ravens for the first time in his career, crossing off the final of the 32 NFL teams. That game is Sunday afternoon.

The Atlanta Falcons will be at home on Monday Night Football to host the struggling Eli Manning and the rest of the New York Giants (1-5).

It will be tough for the other teams in the division outside of New Orleans to not find a way to win in Week 7. But all we can do is worry about our game and let the rest of the teams worry about themselves.