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NFC South standings, Week 6:The bye week ensures the Falcons lead the division

A triumphant victory over Washington, albeit an ugly one, keeps the Falcons atop the NFC South.

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

The Falcons barely won, sure, but a W is a W when it comes to the standings. With the Panthers standing pat for the week, Atlanta currently owns the NFC South, and let us hope they never relinquish it.

NFC South standings

Falcons: 5-0
Panthers: 4-0

Buccaneers: 2-3
Saints: 1-4

Atlanta played arguably their worst game of the season, a game that would not have been out of place in 2013 or 2014 with the exception of a handful of big plays, and they still won. They're going to need to clean up a ton of  their mistakes to keep the good times rolling, but at 5-0, they have an inside track to a playoff spot, and the fact that this one was only close because Matt Ryan had a putrid game bodes well for them the rest of the way.

The Panthers were on a bye. They remain undefeated for at least another week, and will hope to catch up or surpass the Falcons next week. We'll see how they fare, but obviously Cam Newton and the defense give them a good chance of competing for the division all year long.

The Buccaneers put up a ton of points on the Jaguars en route to their second win of the season, and while Jacksonville has been unimpressive, they may be piecing things together. They're unlikely to make a serious playoff push this year, but the sooner they gets things figured out and Jameis Winston arrives on the scene, the sooner they'll be trouble in the NFC South. They're not going to be a pushover by the time the Falcons get to them, unfortunately.

The Saints are dead in the water, more or less. They can play spoiler and will certainly seek to do so, but we may be closing the book on a productive chapter of New Orleans football featuring Drew Brees and Sean Payton. The Falcons will hope to put the final nail in their season's coffin on Thursday night.

Your thoughts on the state of the division?