Week 2 has come and gone, and the Falcons are 2-0. Yay. The rest of the NFC South also played this week—including the Buccaneers for the first time in 2017. Three out of four teams won this week, with the loser naturally being the Saints. Let’s take a look at the standings in the NFC South heading into Week 3, and how each team fared in their Week 2 games.
NFC South Standings
Atlanta Falcons 2-0
Carolina Panthers 2-0
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1-0
New Orleans Saints 0-2
The Falcons are in the lead at 2-0, and currently own the tiebreaker over the Panthers—who are also 2-0. Tampa Bay postponed their Week 1 game, so they’re in third place currently at 1-0. The Saints are trash and are sitting at 0-2, and with the way this division is shaping up, they may already be in big trouble.
NFC South Game Recaps
New England Patriots 36, New Orleans Saints 20
The Saints defense was immediately taken advantage of by Tom Brady and the Patriots, who piled up 20 points in the first quarter alone. New England would never look back, stifling the dangerous Saints offense and continuing to pile up points. The Saints appear to be in a very precarious position already, with the other three teams in the NFC South all undefeated. Unless New Orleans can get their defense fixed quickly, they’re in big trouble in a division with three potentially potent offenses.
Buffalo Bills 3, Carolina Panthers 9
This one was a real snoozer where neither team looked particularly exciting. The Panthers defense looked great, keeping the Bills’ running game in check and generally shutting them down throughout the game. Carolina’s offense, however, was uninspiring at best. They struggled to run the ball, Newton was inaccurate, and the offensive line allowed a ton of pressure. Buffalo has a solid defense, but it’s fair to wonder what the Panthers will look like against a better team. Both of their wins have come against teams that look to be potential bottom-feeders in 2017.
Chicago Bears 7, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 29
Turnovers doomed the Bears throughout the game, as Glennon had two interceptions and the Bears fumbled on a punt return that led to a 26-0 Buccaneers lead at halftime. Chicago never recovered, managing only one TD at the very end of the game. Apparently, the Bears saved their one good game of the season for the Falcons. Tampa won the game handily, but it’s worth noting that 7 points were scored on a defensive TD, and two other TDs were set up by Bears turnovers deep in their own territory. That’s 21 out of their 29 points. It will be worth monitoring the Bucs to see if they can keep up this pace throughout the season.
There you have it. The NFC South is shaping up to be—potentially—very competitive down the stretch. Carolina’s offense is very suspect, and I’d like to see how they fare against a non-garbage opponent before I crown them a legitimate contender. Their defense looks legit, though, and will probably determine how much success they’ll have in 2017. The Bucs look solid, but again, I’d like to see how that team plays when their opponent doesn’t fall flat on their face. New Orleans is bad, and there isn’t a whole lot of context needed there.
What are your thoughts on the state of the NFC South? Any teams the Falcons should be concerned about? Was 7-9 too generous of the prediction for the Saints?