Week 7 has come and gone, and not a moment too soon. This was a bad week for the majority of the NFC South, and even the team that got a win looked pretty bad doing it. I’d rather not talk about the Falcons’ performance on Sunday Night Football anymore, so let’s instead talk about the poor performances of the other teams in the NFC South.
NFC South Standings - Week 7
The Saints continued their winning streak, narrowly beating the Packers at home (sans Aaron Rodgers, of course). New Orleans definitely appears to be the most impressive team in the division at this point. Carolina has been struggling mightily on offense and fell to the Bears on the road. Atlanta dropped a stinker in New England and looks completely lost on offense. The Buccaneers continued their losing streak, blowing a feisty game on the road to Buffalo.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27 - Buffalo Bills 30
The Bucs trailed for almost the entire game against Buffalo, coming up with a 14-point fourth quarter that saw them take a 27-20 lead late. However, Tampa’s defense would once again be their undoing, as the Bills quickly marched down the field twice and ended up winning 30-27 in the final seconds. Turnovers continued to plague the Bucs, who fumbled six times (lost two) and tossed an INT. Tampa’s passing game was very effective, with Jameis Winston throwing for 384 yards and 3 TDs, but the ground game was stagnant against Buffalo (25 attempts for 69 yards, 2.8 YPA). The Bucs are now sitting at the bottom of the NFC South without much hope going forward.
Carolina Panthers 3 - Chicago Bears 17
This was a truly strange game that saw the Carolina offense look completely ineffective once again. Chicago’s rookie FS Eddie Jackson was responsible for 14 points, with two 75-yard returns—one a fumble, one an INT—for TDs. Outside of that, the Bears managed only one field goal, but that was enough to beat a Panthers offense that moved the ball decently but couldn’t get the ball into the endzone. Cam Newton had a poor day, throwing for 211 yards and 2 INTs, and the ground game outside of Newton was lackluster once again. The Panthers have a good defense, but their lack of offensive ability will seriously hurt their chances of beating good teams.
New Orleans Saints 26 - Green Bay Packers 17
The Saints got extremely lucky in this game, as Aaron Rodgers almost certainly would’ve handed them an L this week. But instead, they got back-up QB Brett Hundley, who managed only 87 yards passing and 1 INT. Despite that awful performance, the Saints actually trailed for most of the game. New Orleans finally took control of the game late in the fourth quarter. Brees had a decent day, throwing for 331 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs and also notching a rushing TD. The running game has also looked better sans Adrian Peterson, with Mark Ingram piling up 105 yards and a TD. The Saints defense looked vulnerable against the run, however, with Packers’ rookie RB Aaron Jones amassing 131 yards and a TD on 17 carries.
There you have it: the NFC South after seven weeks. What are your thoughts on the state of the division? Are the Saints really that good after nearly losing to Brett Hundley? Who is the worst team in the division right now with the other three teams all in the midst of losing streaks?