It’s common knowledge in sports that, if you take care of your own business, you don’t have to worry about anybody else as far as the standings are concerned.
While this is entirely true, getting some help along the way is never a bad thing. This column will be completely dedicated to the results of the other three NFC South teams throughout the season, and hopefully we’ll be able to bask in their failures together.
Here is how the Falcons’ division opponents fared in Week 4:
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers crashed back down to earth after a superb three-week stretch by QB Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Bears got out in front and then kept pulling away, as Tampa Bay was baffled on both offense and defense.
Fitzpatrick went just 9/18 and had 126 passing yards, no scores and an interception thrown when he was pulled at halftime. Jameis Winston, who had lost his starting job to Fitzpatrick, threw for 145 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions in the second half. DeSean Jackson had the lone good day on offense for Tampa, totaling 112 receiving yards as a consistent deep threat all afternoon.
On the other side of things, Mike Smith’s defense had no answer for Mitchell Trubisky, who exploded for 354 passing yards and six touchdowns. Former Falcon Taylor Gabriel totaled 104 receiving yards and caught two of those touchdowns. Backup RB Tarik Cohen was a weapon in the passing game, going for 121 receiving yards.
The Bucs go into their week five bye week following back to back losses. Starting TE O.J. Howard was injured and didn’t return.
The Saints didn’t get off the best start in this one, surrendering a touchdown to Sterling Shepard on New York’s first drive of the game. Following that score, however, New Orleans would move the ball up and down the field, but would be held to four field goals in the first half.
Alvin Kamara would then take over in the second half. The electric running back out of Tennessee scored three second-half rushing touchdowns, including one from 49 yards out to seal the game late in the fourth quarter. He finished with 181 total yards from scrimmage.
Saquon Barkley accounted for a rushing touchdown to go along with 44 rushing yards on just 10 carries. Eli Manning was uninspiring with 255 passing yards and the touchdown strike to Shepard. Odell Beckham Jr. had 60 receiving yards and is still looking for his first TD of the season.
NFC South Standings after Week 4
1. New Orleans Saints (3-1 overall record; 1-1 divisional record) - Next vs. Redskins (MNF)
2. Carolina Panthers (2-1 overall record; 0-1 divisional record) - Next vs. Giants
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-2 overall record; 1-0 divisional record) - Next Bye
4. Atlanta Falcons (1-3 overall record; 1-1 divisional record) - Next at Steelers