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 5:
Carolina Panthers 33, New York Giants 31
The Carolina Panthers came off their bye week to face off against the struggling New York Giants in Week 5. The Panthers felt like they were going to pull away throughout much of this game, but they let the Giants hang in there.
Both teams exchanged what I call wild touchdowns. In the first half, the Panthers recovered a muffed punt in the end zone, while the Giants scored via a trick play where Odell Beckham Jr. threw a 57-yard TD pass to Saquon Barkley. Both teams also exchanged interceptions — two each by Eli Manning and Cam Newton to be exact.
Carolina looked all but victorious up 27-17 in the fourth quarter, after Manning’s second interception. The Giants, who hadn’t scored 30 points in a game since 2015, finally reached that mark and took a 31-30 lead with a pair of late touchdown passes to Barkley and Beckham.
On their final drive, however, the Panthers marched down the field enough to give Graham Gano a chance at a very long field goal. Gano proceeded to nail a 63-yard FG for the win, and as someone who actively roots against the Panthers, even I had to applaud him for that insane kick.
As you can tell by the score, this was a nationally televised beatdown. With the Louisiana Superdome amped in anticipation of seeing Drew Brees break Peyton Manning’s all-time passing yards record, the New Orleans Saints demolished the visiting Redskins.
The Saints scored a touchdown on each of their first four possessions, and Brees did end breaking the record on one of those scores in the first half. It was a runaway win from there, as Alex Smith looked below average with 275 passing yards and an interception. Washington also had just 39 rushing yards all game.
New Orleans scored on seven of their eight possessions and didn’t punt once. The Redskins looked atrocious defensively and only got to 19 points because of a garbage time score in the fourth quarter.
Brees finished with 363 passing yards and three touchdowns, while Mark Ingram scored twice in his return from suspension.
NFC South Standings after Week 5
1. New Orleans Saints (4-1 overall record; 1-1 divisional record) - Next at Ravens
2. Carolina Panthers (3-1 overall record; 0-1 divisional record) - Next at Redskins
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-2 overall record; 1-0 divisional record) - Next at Falcons
4. Atlanta Falcons (1-4 overall record; 1-1 divisional record) - Next vs. Buccaneers