If only Cincinnati could manage a comeback to beat the Panthers, it would have been an absolutely perfect week for the Saints.
In any event, the NFC South got a little tighter in Week 3. Here’s how it all happened.
Coming into Week 3, the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints were set to face off in a divisional battle of 1-1 teams in Atlanta. The Carolina Panthers, also 1-1, faced the first of Carolina’s AFC North opponents, the Cincinnati Bengals. The division-leading 2-0 Buccaneers hosted a different AFC North team, the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday Night Football.
Carolina went on to win against the Bengals by a final score of 31-21 to improve to 2-1. FitzMagic finally ended (or did it?) in Tampa Bay on Monday night, with the Steelers beating the Buccaneers 30-27, to drop to 2-1. The New Orleans Saints, down 7 points late in the fourth quarter, came back to beat the Falcons behind two rushing touchdowns (what?) from Drew Brees, 43-37. The win brought the Saints to 2-1, and dropped the Falcons to fourth place in the division with a record of 1-2.
In Week 4, the Carolina Panthers are taking their early Bye week, so Carolina gets to sit back and watch the TV Sunday. It is Atlanta’s turn to face the 2-1 Cincinnati Bengals and Tampa Bay gets the 2-1 Chicago Bears. Both of those games are at noon on Sunday. The Saints have their first real test at defending the run in Saquon Barkley and the 1-2 New York Giants Sunday afternoon, meaning the Saints are the only NFC South team to face a team with a losing record.
The Buccaneers and Falcons taking back-to-back losses in Week 4 is definitely a plausible scenario.
But first things first: #BeattheGiants