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NFC South standings: The Falcons fall to third place

What a terrible week.

NFL: Carolina Panthers at Chicago Bears Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

It would be fair to suggest that Sunday was not a good day for the NFC South. The Falcons and Panthers were utterly embarrassed, the Buccaneers were once again shaky and dropped a game, and the Saints were the only team to actually win, against a Green Bay squad without Aaron Rodgers. One of the most talented divisions in football continues to look like an inconsistent mess for the most part through seven weeks.

With three teams losing in the division, the lead changed again, and now the New Orleans Saints are on top of the division. I don’t understand the NFL in 2017, either, but we must look at it. With our eyes.

NFC South Standings

Saints: 4-2

Panthers: 4-3

Falcons: 3-3

Buccaneers: 2-4

The Saints bullied their way into first place, and while I’ve continued to be dismissive of their long-term chances, they look better than any other team in the division over the last couple of weeks. Their offense is as good as ever—with some hiccups—and the defense is doing enough. I’m not dismissive any longer of their chances, even if I still don’t believe in the defense, for the simple reason that everyone else is busy filling their feet full of lead.

The Carolina Panthers continue to be a baffling football team. They’ve had a handful of impressive games this season, yes, but they also beat the Bills 9-3 and then lost to the Bears in a hilarious, 17-3 struggle on Sunday, one that dropped them to 4-3.

The Falcons lost in humiliating fashion to the Patriots, and there’s little question that their current level of play is going to keep them in the bottom half of the NFC South. It is beyond time for this team to wake up, start making plays, and start putting its playmakers in better positions to succeed. It’s not too early to turn it around, but each passing week brings us closer to that unfortunate outcome.

The Buccaneers have cratered, and I’m honestly starting to think Dirk Koetter won’t make it through the year as the team’s coach. They’re just an ill-prepared bunch who look like they’re playing Falconsball circa 2014 (and hell, maybe 2017), and it’s shaping up to be yet another lost season in Tampa Bay.

That is a depressing writeup, but depression is all I have for you at the moment. Hope for better.