Hey, Atlanta’s on top of the NFC South! Given the state of the division, it looks like the Falcons might be there for a long while.
NFC South Standings
The Falcons are leading this division on the back of brilliant offense and good enough defense. If the D improves and can build on their strong showing against Denver, they’re going to be exceptionally difficult to defeat. As it is, they have now reeled off four wins in a row and look like a tough out every single time, which is both a pleasant surprise and a very good sign going forward.
Tampa Bay played a horrible football game and somehow won. Their second round kicker continues to struggle mightily, and it almost seemed as though Dirk Koetter was deliberately playing to get him the opportunity to win that game, which felt...risky. Jameis Winston still looks shaky, the defense was better last night but still only so-so on balance, and they just don’t seem particularly well-run from top to bottom. Their season is still alive, though, and maybe they can build on this win.
Carolina is basically dead in the water. I felt the Panthers were a bit lucky to go 15-1 last year, with a freakishly low turnover rate and otherworldly performances from a handful of stars, but they’ve been dragged back to mediocrity with alarming quickness. Having Cam Newton and Jonathan Stewart out of this game hurt a ton, but the pass rush has been pretty weak, the secondary is a tire fire of Dave Gettleman’s own making, and at 1-4 they’ll have to be exceptional the rest of the way to even sniff the playoffs.
The Saints are off this week, so maybe the rest will allow them to reel off a bunch of victories and return to relevance. Considering their defense is a tire fire and the offense is largely dependent on ageless wonder Drew Brees, though, maybe not.