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Week 14: State of the NFC South - Down go the Falcons

The Saints clinch a vital playoff spot, as Tampa Bay has their bye

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Falcons didn’t get smacked by Taysom Hill once, but a second time in Week 13. The New Orleans Saints clipped the Falcons’ wings 21-16. Mark that as a season sweep for not Drew Brees, but the dual-threat quarterback Taysom Hill, throwing 33-yard dimes to the boundaries.

As for the other NFC degenerates — winning wasn’t on tap. While the Falcons lost to the Saints, the Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers finally had their bye week. Why is that considered losing? Well, Tampa is now three games behind New Orleans, as all NFC South squadrons are caught up with their bye weeks.

All in all, let’s dive in to this polarizing NFC South overview!

New Orleans Saints

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Dirty Birds were victim to two rushing touchdowns from Taysom Hill mania a few weeks ago, and now they decided to switch things up and give the swiss army knife QB open WRs in the end-zone come Week 13. Also known as 6 points and a Sean Payton air fist-pump.

Taysom Hill didn’t only get his first passing touchdown on the year/career, but he had TWO passing TDs in the pivotal, divisional battle.

Looking ahead, the Saints get a date with Philadelphia. And as Andrew Siciliano said:

Carolina Panthers

NFL: Player Headshots 2020 Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

The Panthers had their bye week in Week 13, which came after their gut-wrenching Minnesota loss in Week 12. Looking at the NFC South standings: Carolina sits at 4-8 on the 34 mark of the year. Sighs for the former College coach, Matt Rhule.

Christian McCaffrey is set to return to action, following his lengthy injury. Unfortunately, it’s too late in the year to imply playoff aim. Nonetheless, it’s important for CAR to finish the season on a high note & get McCaffrey and Teddy Bridgewater excelling on the same page.

Looking ahead, CAR faces the Denver Broncos, Green Bay Packers, Washington Football Team, and New Orleans Saints. May the football gods ever be in your favor, Carolina.

Atlanta Falcons

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons
Who doesn’t love the combination of Matt Ryan’s facial expressions and their involvement against the Saints. For 1. He exonerates so much fire & grittiness. For 2. He uses a very serious, frustrated look more than most QBs. And for 3. They’re an even more regular feature in his match-ups against the Saints. They truly represent the story of his struggles against NO.
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Although, Cam Jordan didn’t do his sack dance, Carl Granderson came out with a potent strip-sack fumble. The Saints defense also limited the Falcons to 16 points.

Looking ahead, Atlanta faces the Los Angeles Chargers, Kansas City Chiefs, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers twice. . This also means that Atlanta will have to decide if they want to draft a quarterback with the high-draft pick they could get with losing, or if they want to play spoiler to Tom Brady and the Buccaneers.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Tompa Bandwagon is skulking in the shadows. The Buccaneers finished up their bye week in Week 13, but Tom Brady is actually 1-3 in the last four games. Despite sneaking into his coach’s house before the season and loading up his dream team, the offense can’t click for the second-best quarterback in the division.

Bruce Arians, who creates career-highs in turnovers for every quarterback in his system, can’t help but give Belichick a run for his money in giving his Brady an ear-full of criticism.

Nonetheless, this defense is scary and they own every bit of the No. 1 ranked run defense in the NFL. If the offense can get some production from their prominent front-seven on defense, they may be able to make a deep postseason run.

This week, Tampa faces off against Minnesota—a team that’s 3-1 in their last four. Will Tampa hit the reset button after their bye and stop the Dalvin Cook train? We will soon find out!

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