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Look around NFC South: Bucs, Panthers remain undefeated

Saints take a step back after blowout loss to Carolina

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

The NFC South did battle with each other as all 4 teams went head to head this past week. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers hosted the Atlanta Falcons while the New Orleans Saints traveled to Charlotte to do battle with the Carolina Panthers. Here is a quick look around the division this week.

Carolina 26 New Orleans 7

Saints fans know all too well how this one ended up as the Panthers cruised to a wire to wire victory on Sunday. The Panthers used a strong defensive effort in which they pressured and harassed Jameis Winston all afternoon and made fans hardly recognize the quarterback who threw 5 touchdowns in Week 1. Winston and the Saints offense were virtually put in park all day to the tune of a measly 128 yards of total offense and a putrid 6 first downs for the entire game. They pressured Winston on 64% of his throws, sacking the QB 4 times and forcing him into 2 interceptions on the day.

On offense, the Panthers were able to play keep away as they won the time of possession battle by over 17 minutes. Panthers QB Sam Darnold was solid as he finished the day with 305 yards passing and 2 touchdowns. Save one errant throw under pressure that the Saints picked off, Darnold played a pretty flawless game. The Panthers also kept things clean on the penalty side as they were only flagged for 5 penalties for 49 yards. The Saints meanwhile were whistled 11 times for 115 yards. The Saints will travel to New England on Sunday to take on the Patriots while the Panthers travel to Houston and face off against the Texans on Thursday Night Football.

Buccaneers 48 Falcons 25

While this may have ended up a lopsided score, this was only a 3 point game heading into the 4th quarter. The Buccaneers flexed their muscle in the final frame scoring 3 touchdowns and separated themselves in the process. Tom Brady is seemingly gunning for the MVP trophy as he tossed 5 touchdowns and leads the league with 9 in this young season. He was his usual serving self as threw passes to 10 different receivers on the afternoon. Falcons QB Matt Ryan also tossed passes to 10 different receivers, but he also threw 3 to the other team including 2 pick 6’s in the fourth quarter.

The Falcons at least showed a little life in this game after the embarrassing Week 1 home loss to Philly. The Falcons actually outgained the Buccaneers, won the time of possession battle, and was better on 3rd down efficiency. The 3 turnovers and the 2 pick 6’s were the deciding factor in this one. Tampa Bay has now scored 30 plus points in 9 straight games. They will travel to L.A. and take on the Rams this Sunday while Atlanta will travel to New York and tangle with the Giants.

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