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The NFC South isn't a lot of fun right now, unless you're a Panthers fan. Let's take a closer look.
NFC South Standings
The Panthers are winning this division, barring the mother of all collapses. The Falcons and even the Saints are technically in the picture, but Carolina is passing every test, and they have enough talent on defense and with Cam Newton to win against almost anybody on a level playing field. It was close—it's always close—but they triumphed over a tough Packers team, and that's enough for me to take them even more seriously than I already was.
The Falcons are now on their fifth straight rough performance, and none were worse than this loss to San Francisco. If you're looking to the perfect experience to encompass why many believe this team isn't as good as its record, this was it, and they're gonna need to drastically improve to stick around in the playoff picture.
The Saints stumbled badly against the Titans, which doesn't erase two big wins in a row, but certainly does a lot to temper expectations for
It bears repeating: The Buccaneers, despite their nice win over Atlanta last week, are pretty much dead in the water for 2016. They can spoil others' playoff hopes, and that's about it. They've got a solid foundation, though, and I continue to worry about them over the long haul.