The NFC South could be ugly for the second straight year, and if today's games are any indication, the division is going to be a tire fire.
NFC South Standings
Let's take a quick look at today's games to understand what happened around the division.
Panthers 20, Jaguars 9
The Panthers won this one pretty handily, but it wasn't all roses. The Panthers struggled to run, Newton was merely okay aside from a couple of spectacular escapes from the pass rush, the receivers are as awful as advertised in Carolina. The defense was pretty terrific, though, especially at shaking up Blake Bortles and forcing turnovers.
Everything you thought about the Panthers was confirmed, then, and I don't feel like we're any closer to figuring out how much better or worse they are than their 2014 incarnation. They're 1-0, though, and getting out to an early lead is going to help them a great deal.
Cardinals 31, Saints 19
The Saints did a lot of work to retool their defense and turn themselves into a ground-first football team. With Jairus Byrd and C.J. Spiller out, it was always going to be difficult to tell how well that worked, but this was grim.
Brees was forced into throwing 48 passes to a motley crew of receivers, and the rushing attack was beyond week against a tough Arizona defense. The defense got absolutely torched by the Cardinals, who have a good offense when everyone's healthy, but are hardly my idea of a world beater. The Saints will hope to be healthier a year ago and draw some easier matchups, but this was not the way they wanted to start the season.
Titans 42, Buccaneers 14
It's unbelievable that the Buccaneers get so much preseason love every year from national analysts and pundits, because they never seem to earn it on the field when the regular season hits. This team got embarrassed, with Jameis Winston looking shaky, the defense allowing Marcus Mariota and Bishop Sankey to do any damn thing they liked, and the offensive line looking like one of the NFL's worst. They won't all be this bad, but when you let a retooling Titans team destroy you like this, you're probably not going to have a big season.
We'll now wait and see if the Falcons can match the Panthers at 1-0. Thoughts on the state of the NFC South?