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Look around NFC South; Saints rising

The division may be getting 2 teams into the playoffs this year

New Orleans Saints v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

If you wanted to see a dead body a couple of weeks ago you could have looked no further than the New Orleans Saints football team. They were losers of 5 straight games including back-to-back blowout losses at home on national tv. Like the Undertaker meme the Saints have risen from the ashes winning 2 straight games and are in the thick of the playoff race for the final spot. The last win came in impressive means blanking the defending Super Bowl champion Buccaneers 9-0. We have detailed every part of this game on the site so check out our coverage of that game and more. For now, here is a look around the rest of the NFC South.

49ers 31 Falcons 13

The Falcons topsy turvy season continues and they have been a consistent model of inconsistency. They have not won or lost more than 2 games in a row all season so right on cue after a win against Carolina they get blown out against San Francisco. Two things were working against the Falcons in this one, they couldn’t run the ball and they couldn’t stop the run. The Falcons could only muster up 62 yards rushing on 2.7 yards a carry in this one. Conversely, the 49ers averaged 5.1 yards a carry for a total of 162 rush yards on the afternoon. That meant the bulk of the responsibility rested on Matt Ryan’s shoulder and while he had an adequate game, the one-dimensional Falcons couldn’t keep pace. Ryan finished the afternoon 19/32 for 236 and a touchdown. He did however have a costly fumble on a strip sack by Nick Bosa that turned into 24-10 49ers lead and the Falcons would threaten no more. While technically still in the playoff race, the Falcons will more than likely need to win out with help from other teams. Their quest resumes this Sunday when they host the Detroit Lions.

Bills 31 Panthers 14

Carolina came into this game without a kicker and frankly without much hope to win. Carolina entered this game losers of 3 straight and within 5 minutes and a 14-0 deficit to the Bills, you had the feeling it would be 4 straight. The Panthers were pedestrian at best on offense only amassing 275 total and a lot of that was gained after the game had pretty much been decided. Cam Newton had another bad outing as he connected on less than 50% of his throws for just 156 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. He was successful on the ground running for 75 yards and a score, but no other Panther produced much on the day. The Panthers couldn’t stop the Bills from scoring early and by halftime the game and Carolina’s season is pretty much done. They are now 5-9 and have a date with Tampa Bay on Sunday, who after getting blanked at home last week is surely looking to take out a little payback on their next opponent. In fact, Carolina plays Tampa twice in the next 3 weeks so Panthers fans should be looking to fill out their draft boards, if they haven’t already done so.

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