The Atlanta Falcons had sole possession of first place in the NFC South for about four days, but after their loss to the Saints and the Panthers' road win on Sunday, that's no longer the case. Atlanta will hope to hurdle the setback and resume their march toward a playoff spot starting this Sunday against the Titans.
Here's a look at the division standings heading into the coming week.
NFC South Standings, Week 7
I'll freely admit I thought the Panthers would get stomped on the road in Seattle, even coming off of a bye week. The fact that they hung with one of the league's tougher teams after feasting on an early, easy slate means we're now officially worried about Carolina taking the NFC South crown, though there's a lot of football yet to be played. As I've said repeatedly in this space, a quality defense and Cam Newton are going to be enough to carry this team for a while.
The Falcons dropped their first game, and it was ugly enough that national and local media are both grumbling about the team's fortunes. They can send a statement by rebounding against a scuffling Tennessee Titans team, but they're now just slightly behind Carolina in the divisional race, and they won't want any more duds like that Thursday night game.
The Buccaneers had a week off to recharge and re-group, and it came just as they were starting to get their feet under them. They could make some noise this season, but I still believe 2016 is the team's arrival in Contentionland, given that Jameis Winston remains a rookie quarterback and their week-to-week performances remain inconsistent.
Despite the impressive, gutsy win over the Falcons, the Saints still look like the worst team in the division from top-to-bottom. If they can build some momentum off that win they'll be dangerous, given that they still have Drew Brees and a surprisingly feisty defense, but I'm certainly not counting on that outcome.
On to Week 7, then.