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Look around NFC South: Bucs starting to separate themselves

Tampa Bay is the only team in the division currently with a winning record

New York Giants v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

It was a pretty miserable weekend for much of the NFC South as the only team to taste victory was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. With their win on Monday night, they added to their division lead over the New Orleans Saints who have now loss 3 games in a row before a tough stretch coming up. More Saints news and notes about their current plight can be readily found on this site, but for now here is a look around the NFC South.

Patriots 25 Falcons 0

Most didn’t think the Falcons could look as lifeless and uninspired as they did a couple of weeks ago in their 43-3 domination by the hands of the Dallas Cowboys. Last Thursday night proved otherwise as the Falcons put up a big donut at home to the Patriots. The Falcons have scored a grand total of 3 points the last 2 games and seem as confused and disoriented as one can be on offense. Quarterback Matt Ryan had another awful game as he was benched again for the second time in as many games after only throwing for 153 yards with 0 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. The offense as a whole finished with less than 200 yards of total offense for the second straight week and was shut out at home for the first time since 1988. The only good news for the Falcons is they take on the Jacksonville Jaguars this Sunday which means they could have a great chance at getting back on the winning side of things.

Washington 27 Carolina 21

The return of Cam Newton back home wasn’t even in this one as he was upstaged by the return of former Panther’s coach Ron Rivera who now coaches the Washington Football Team. Cam was very good in his 2nd stint with the Panthers as he threw for 2 touchdowns and ran for another, but couldn’t quite match the firepower of Washington’s Taylor Heinicke in this one. Heinicke was sharp in this one as he finished 16 for 22 with 3 touchdowns and no interceptions. His team was able to sustain drives while the Panthers were not going just 2 of 9 on 3rd downs and 1 of 3 on fourth downs. Washington, conversely converted on 6 of 13 third down conversions and a perfect 2 of 2 on 4th down tries. Christain McCaffrey had another solid game in this one as he accounted for 119 all-purpose yards and a score. In the end it wasn’t enough as Carolina’s bid to score a go-ahead touchdown with under 2 minutes left fell short as Cam was sacked at the Washington 49-yard line. The Panthers will look to bounce back as they will travel to Miami to take on the Dolphins this Sunday.

Tampa Bay 30 New York 10

Every year seems to be the case with hearing the words falling off and Tom Brady together. After suffering through a 2-game losing streak in which Brady threw 4 interceptions, many wondered whether Father Time had finally tapped Brady on the shoulder. Just like every other time seemingly Brady rises up to the occasion and says not quite yet. Brady started fast in this one scoring on their opening drive and not looking back en route to a convincing victory against the Giants. Brady finished with 307 yards passing and 2 touchdowns while his defense rose to the level of last season’s ferocious bunch, especially in the playoffs. The Buccaneers picked off Giants Quarterback Daniel Jones twice and stripped a Giants receiver as well forcing 3 turnovers in the game. They held the Giants scoreless in the second half, held them to 1 of 9 on 3rd downs, and stifled the Giants offense much of the night. This was the level of defense that propelled the Bucs on their Super Bowl run last season and if they play to this level, watch out NFL. The Bucs will look to build upon this win as they travel to take on the Colts this Sunday.

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