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The Quarter Season NFC South Landscape

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Well, gang, most of the teams in the NFL now have four games under their belt, which means it's time to take a look at the landscape in the NFC South. Our beloved Falcons are holding their own and looking light years ahead of the hated Tampa Bay Bucs and the disliked Carolina Panthers, but unfortunately they're not quite in first place in the division.

And at this point, the 4-0 New Orleans Saints are....

*BLARRRGHHHH*

Wow, whew. Sorry. I don't know where that came from. I was just saying that the thus far undefeated Saints lead....

*VVVOOOORRSSSTTTT*

Goodness, there goes most of my internal organs! I was pretty attached to that spleen, too. Damn. Anyways, what I was trying to get out despite the waves of revulsion wracking my body is that the Saints are on top of the.....on top of....

*dies*

Cartoon_ghost_medium


Well, now that I'm a ghost, I guess I can continue what I was saying before. The New Orleans Saints are winning the division after spanking the heretofore undefeated New York Jets, which totally sucks. Let's take a quick look at every team in the division, shall we?

New Orleans Saints, 4-0: This is a very good football team. Now that head coach Sean Payton has come to his senses and given stud running back Pierre Thomas the run he deserves, the Saints have Drew Brees slinging the football, Reggie Bush and Thomas as weapons out of the backfield, a solid offensive line and a talented group of receivers and tight ends. Even when a team manages to successfully shut down Brees, the running game goes absolutely nuts. On offense, they just can't be stopped.

What really scares me about the Saints is that their defense is no longer the totally inept mess that it has been in years past. I'm not going to go so far as to say it's awesome—the Jets, despite their early success, are no offensive juggernaut—but it's solid enough to get them out of jams. They match up pretty well against the Falcons and are guaranteed to be a major thorn in our collective sides through the entire season. We're going to have to beat them both times out and hope the defense collapses (perhaps) or the offense suddenly shuts down (probably not). Week 8 should be some very compelling football. I still think we'll split the season series, with each team winning at home.

Predicted Record: 12-4

Atlanta Falcons, 2-1: We talk about these guys every day, so you probably have a pretty clear idea of how they're doing. The bye week should give us the momentum we need to come out swinging against the 49ers, who without Frank Gore apparently don't have a run game to speak of. I still think a winning season is within our grasp.

Predicted Record: 9-7

Carolina Panthers, 0-3: The folks over at Cat Scratch Reader are a nice bunch, but a recent post about what the team can learn from other playoff teams that started 0-3 probably isn't realistic. Age and sudden ineffectiveness has caught up with the Panthers, who were a very good team just a year ago, and while they aren't likely to look this shaky all season long, there's nothing about this roster that screams for a sudden turnaround. The Panthers will push ahead hard and will probably be another tough matchup for us when we meet again, but after this season you can bet they'll be looking hard at some of the top quarterbacks in the draft and maybe at the possibility of getting something....anything....for Julius Peppers. Could be a long one for the Teal Cats.

Predicted Record: 7-9

Tampa Bay Bucs, 0-4: Where to even start with this team. I actually thought the Bucs were going to be a very tough out in the NFC South this season, thanks to a healthy combination of peyote and drywall. What I've seen thus far is a team that needs an offensive and defensive identity, as well as a rookie coach in Raheem Morris who has some serious homework to do. I still see a bright future for rookie quarterback Josh Freeman and the Bucs in general, but it sure doesn't look like that future is coming on in 2009.

Predicted Record:  4-12

So those are the thoughts of Ghost Dave. What do you think?