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Week 4: State of the NFC South - at least we’re not the Falcons?

The (2-1) Buccaneers sit first place in the division standings.

NFL: Chicago Bears at Atlanta Falcons Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Falcons managed to capture late game meltdowns for the second weekend in a row. Atlanta put themselves last in the division, but they weren’t the only team to lose on Sunday. The Saints lost their second game in a row: 37-30 against an excellent Packers squad.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, also known as “Tompa Bay”, ran away with the division lead. The Buccaneers edged out the Denver Broncos, by a score of 28-10. The Carolina Panthers even got their first win, with a victory against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Let’s take a closer look each NFC South team’s direction heading into Week 4.

New Orleans Saints

NFL: Green Bay Packers at New Orleans Saints Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Sad. When you think of the New Orleans Saints, that’s the first word that comes to mind. When the Saints best player-Michael Thomas misses game time from injury, it becomes tougher for the Saints offense to create big plays and get in sync. If you take away Drew Brees playing like like an All-Pro player that he’s expected to be, it’s going to be a giant confusing struggle on offense. This team is missing their two best offensive performances from last season.

As the Saints move forward, this team will get healthier bodies on the team. Marcus Davenport will be returning shortly from injury. Of course, Michael Thomas, will be returning to the field soon. It may not be this weekend, but the Saints should see the young stars in the fold within a few weeks.

The Saints need to focus on their healthy talent, because they have a huge task on Sunday. The NFL’s most penalized team-New Orleans Saints are facing the Detroit Lions, who are trending in the opposite direction. Which is a good direction. The Lions edged out a playoff contender in the Arizona Cardinals, last Sunday. It will be a revenge game for Lion’s running back, Adrian Peterson, which is weird to say. Wow.

Atlanta Falcons

NFL: Chicago Bears at Atlanta Falcons Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Falcons owner can’t be happy. He can’t be happy, at all. Arthur Blank just watched his team lose 4th quarter blunders in back to back games. I’m not sure if it’s kind of unfortunate that it came against Nick Foles in the Week 3 matchup, but the Falcons are sitting in an ugly fourth place spot.

The Falcons owner is staring down a general manager that gets too much credit for drafting Julio Jones, While he’s watching a head coach hold a failing defense, and failing attitude in a Falcons locker room. Blank may need to be honest with himself, and consider what Quinn brings to the table. This is a struggling defense and culture (which he specializes in) that hasn’t found playoff success, since the genius Kyle Shanahan left the building.

The Falcons team might be 0-3, but let’s give them credit for a hot offense. Wide Receiver, Calvin Ridley is second in the league in receiving yards, while they didn’t even have Julio Jones on the field in Week 3. Their talented leader, Matt Ryan, will get an explosive attack to funnel out in Week 4. This team will be facing the Green Bay Packers on Monday Night. A Packers team that dismantled the Saints, will look to squash the dirty birds in Week 4.

Carolina Panthers

NFL: Carolina Panthers at Los Angeles Chargers Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Panthers are coming off one of the most impressive wins of the weekend. It’s unfortunate that they face the media distracted by Drew Brees and Tom Brady in the NFC South. These might be legendary names in the NFC South, but don’t let the noise distract you from the NFC sleeper- Carolina Panthers.

The Panthers defense came to play in Week 3. They only allowed 16 points to the successful Chargers offense in Week 3. That’s a very positive outing for a young defense, combined with a younger quarterback on the other side of the football.

The Panthers are striving to reach .500, as they face off against a 2-1 Cardinals squad. They will be without McCaffrey for the second week in a row, so they will need a stellar performance from their defense for the second week in a row. The winner of this game could likely present a wildcard spot in 2021.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Denver Broncos Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Buccaneers are climbing up the power rankings. The notable NFL analyst, Colin Cowherd, is back on the “Tompa Bay” bandwagon. The Buccaneers are coming off a two game winning streak, with a huge win over Denver. Tom Brady had 287 passing yards, 3 passing touchdowns, and a 115.8 passer rating against a stout Broncos defense.

Brady might be on the steam train, heading into a matchup against a weak opponent-Los Angeles Chargers, but Brady will have to deal with the Saints on his shoulder. As for now, the Buccaneers get to play a Chargers squad that’s 1-2, and has a serious question mark at quarterback. The rookie Justin Herbert has been thrown under the fire in the last two games, but Tyrod Taylor is expected to start if he’s healthy.

Even if the Brady bunch wins this weekend, they will have to face the fellow NFC South squad, that has their number: New Orleans Saints. They will have a date against the angry squad with a healthy Michael Thomas in Week 9. The winner of that game will likely be sitting in the throne in the NFC South.

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