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NFC South Standings, Week 8: Falcons lurking behind Panthers in the division

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The win Sunday was incredibly important, because the Panthers continue to avoid their first loss.

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The Falcons are still lurking near the top of the NFC South, so everything else is secondary. For those curious how the rest of the division fared over the weekend, we've got your round and NFC South standings, to boot. Here's where all four teams stand heading into Week 8.

NFC South Standings Week 8

Panthers: 6-0
Falcons: 6-1
Saints: 3-4
Buccaneers: 2-4

This wasn't an impressive effort for the Panthers against the Eagles, but compared to the Falcons' win, it was enough to draw the kind of widespread praise Carolina is getting today. Their defense is good enough and their ground game dominant enough to overcome a three interception effort from Cam Newton, and they remain the class of the division. Unfortunately.

The Falcons may not be the most inspiring 6-1 team in the NFL, but thankfully inspiration doesn't not factor into your record. Strong defense, a consistently excellent ground game and one nice drive from Matt Ryan and the passing game ensured Atlanta won this one, and at 6-1, they remain in excellent position both in the NFC South and the playoff picture, with time to figure this one out.

I have no idea what to make of the Saints, now just one game under .500. Either they're rounding into shape at last, a scary thought given that they have Drew Brees and a potentially tough ground game, or they're feasting on a couple of teams that had lousy weeks. We'll know more in the weeks ahead, but they're not out of this one just yet, astonishingly enough.

The Buccaneers opened up a huge lead against Washington and managed to lose it, a testament to how much of a work in progress this team is. They're improving offensively, at least, and will be tougher in the weeks ahead than they were doing a woeful start to the season.