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NFC South after Week 9: Bucs Start to Fall

Tampa tumbles, but the rest of the division takes care of business.

Los Angeles Rams v New Orleans Saints Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Saints keep winning, but so did the majority of the division. Here’s how the NFC South’s teams played in Week 9.

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at New Orleans Saints Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Coming into Week 9, the entire NFC South was back in action. The third place Atlanta Falcons (3-4) were fresh off their bye, facing the Washington Redskins in DC. The second place Carolina Panthers (5-2) hosted the fourth place Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-4). Those two games were both Sunday at noon. Then, Sunday afternoon, the New Orleans Saints (6-1) hosted the undefeated Los Angeles Rams (8-0) in the Mercedes-Benz Super Dome.

The Saints took care of business against the Rams, handing Los Angeles their first loss of the season on way to improving to 7-1. The Atlanta Falcons put a whooping on the Washington Redskins, winning by a final of 38-14, to improve to .500 at 4-4. So while those two NFC South teams won, someone had to lose between the Buccaneers and Panthers. Unfortunately for the Saints, it was the Buccaneers who lost, 42-28. The loss dropped the Buccaneers to sole possession of last place in the NFC South, at 3-5. The win keeps the Panthers one game behind the Saints in second place, at 6-2.

Cincinnati Bengals v New Orleans Saints Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Now into Week 10, the entire NFC South is still back in action.

The second place Carolina Panthers travel to the first place Pittsburgh Steelers (5-2-1) on Thursday Night Football. The Atlanta Falcons are also on the road, facing in the Cleveland Browns (2-6-1) in the Dog Pound. The New Orleans Saints are the third NFC South team to play up north, facing in the second place Cincinnati Bengals (5-3) in Cincy. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the only divisional team to play at home, hosting the first place Washington Redskins (5-3). All three of those games are Sunday at noon CST.

Aside from the Falcons’ matchup, the other three opponents for the NFC South are fairly evenly matched, all three sitting with five wins. If the Saints want to gain ground on the Panthers and Bucs, this would be a great week to do so. But first things first: