The Falcons got started on the right foot in 2017 with a road victory over the surprisingly scrappy Chicago Bears. Sitting at 1-0, they’re officially undefeated for the first time since early 2015. Savor it, folks.
With that in mind, let’s check in on how the other three NFC South teams fared in their Week 1 contests.
NFC South Standings
Carolina opens the season tied with the Falcons at 1-0. Technically, they have the tiebreaker due to “points allowed”. The Buccaneers didn’t play this week, but somehow they’re still better than the Saints. New Orleans is currently at the bottom of the division at 0-1.
Carolina Panthers 23 - San Francisco 49ers 3
The Panthers defense thoroughly beat up on the lowly 49ers, who looked pretty incompetent on offense in Kyle Shanahan’s first game as the head coach. Truthfully, the Panthers didn’t look very sharp either—Cam was inaccurate, completing only 56% of his passes for less than 200 yards. Carolina’s RBs only averaged 3.6 yards per carry against the league’s worst rush defense in 2016. Obviously it’s only Week 1, but there have to be some concerns there.
New Orleans Saints 19 - Minnesota Vikings 29
New Orleans struggled mightily against the Vikings on opening night. Sam Bradford had his way with the Saints’ defense en route to completing 84% of his passes for 346 yards and 3 TDs. Vikings’ rookie RB Dalvin Cook rushed for 127 yards and 5.8 YPC. Drew Brees looked solid but the team was unable to finish any drives until late in the game. The Saints’ three-headed rushing attack was also very underwhelming, with AP averaging only 3 YPC against his old team. Our prediction of 7-9 might even be too generous at this point.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Miami Dolphins
This game was postponed due to Hurricane Irma. It will be played during Week 11, when both teams were on bye, instead.
The Falcons are in good position heading into Week 2. A loss against Chicago would’ve made the Green Bay game much more crucial—as it stands now, a loss wouldn’t necessarily sink the team. Still, if the Falcons manage to take out the Packers on Sunday Night Football, they’ll have a pretty good shot at heading into the bye 4-0.
What are your thoughts on the NFC South after Week 1? Any teams you’re concerned about? Did you laugh heartily at the Saints’ ineptitude on Monday Night Football? I know I did.