The first week of the 2023 NFL season is officially wrapped up. With that being said, let's take a look at the NFC South.
State of the Atlanta Falcons:
The Atlanta Falcons won in their divisional clash with the Carolina Panthers. The Falcons defense looked great, holding the Panthers to 10 points. Jessie Bates III had a heck of a game, picking off Bryce Young twice.
The Falcons also had a great game from their HBs, who combined for three total TDs. They’ll take on the Green Bay Packers at home next week. The Packers also started their season 1-0 with a win against the Chicago Bears. This should be a good game, but I have the Packers taking the win.
State of the Carolina Panthers:
The Carolina Panthers lost to the Atlanta Falcons. It was a rough start for the first overall pick of this year’s NFL Draft. Bryce Young struggled in his debut. He was held to 146 passing yards and threw two picks. He’ll look to rebound this week versus the Saints.
State of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers surprised a lot of people, beating the Minnesota Vikings 20-17. While Justin Jefferson did his thing by catching nine passes for 150 yards, it just wasn’t enough. Next week, the team will head home to face the Chicago Bears.
The Bears struggled versus the Packers, but I think they turn it around this week and beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this week.
State of the New Orleans Saints
The Saints were able to squeak out a win against the Tennessee Titans. The team won 16-15 in a tough competitive battle. The Saints’ defense was the star of the show. Marshon Lattimore, Paulson Adebo, and Marcus Maye were all able to pick off Titans QB Ryan Tannehill.
The Saints defensive line was also able to apply a ton of pressure. Everyone on the team stepped up to make sure Tannehill was under constant pressure.
Saints defensive pressure report vs. Titans, per Pro Football Focus charting:— John Sigler (@john_siglerr) September 11, 2023
5 - Carl Granderson (1.5 sacks), Cameron Jordan (0.5 sack), Tanoh Kpassgon
3 - Bryan Bresee (0.5 sack)
2 - Demario Davis
1 - LB Pete Werner, DE Payton Turner, DB Tyrann Mathieu
The big issue for the Saints was their offensive line. Trevor Penning looked like a revolving door in the first half. However, he looked better in the second half. It looks like he will be a long-term project for the team.
Trevor Penning was hit with 6 pressures (2 sacks) in PFF charting, but Erik McCoy also yielded 4 pressures (1 sack) while drawing 2 penalty flags (1 declined). James Hurst also charged with allowing a sack. Rough day for the Saints OL against a talented Titans DL— John Sigler (@john_siglerr) September 11, 2023
This absolutely needs to be a point of emphasis in practice this week. Saints QB Derek Carr looked good when he had time to throw outside the horrific interception. The Saints take on the Panthers this week on the road. The Panthers’ defense is spearheaded by Jaycee Horn and Brian Burns. Game planning for Burns will be critical after last week’s game.
The Saints should also look to exploit the inexperience of rookie QB Bryce Young. Expect a lot of blitz packages and attempts to throw him off his game. The Saints should win this game, but if they play like they did against the Titans, they could lose this game.
Jonny’s record predicting the NFC South 2-1