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; hopefully we’ll be able to bask in their failures together.
The Panthers and Bucs concluded their season series across the pond in Week 6’s morning showcase. Jameis Winston was a turnover machine, while Carolina kept up their winning ways with Kyle Allen under center.
It was a rough start for the Bucs, who threw an interception and punted the ball away three times in the first quarter. They were down 10-0 before they knew it. Their lone first half touchdown was matched by the Panthers soon after, as Christian McCaffrey scored his second of the first half to take a 17-7 lead into the break.
Winston threw three interceptions in the second half to match his three first-half turnovers, as the Panthers defense continually hounded him. He did manage to score some garbage time points, but it was never uncomfortable for the Panthers, who led by 24 points in the fourth quarter.
Allen recorded 227 passing yards, two touchdowns, and still has yet to throw an interception this season. Despite scoring two touchdowns, McCaffrey was held relatively in check from a yardage standpoint, tallying just 57 yards from scrimmage on 26 touches. D.J. Moore was the leading receiver with 73 yards, but it was Curtis Samuel who scored two touchdowns.
Winston racked up 400 passing yards and two total touchdowns (one passing, one rushing), but he also turned the ball over six times (five interceptions, one lost fumble). Peyton Barber was the leading rusher with just 28 yards. Chris Godwin was the leading receiver with 151 yards.
In what was a game of traded field goals back and forth, the Saints scored the only touchdown of the afternoon in the fourth quarter to outlast the Jaguars in a defensive struggle.
There were four punts in this game before the Saints put up the matchup’s first points in the form of a Wil Lutz field goal. Following that sequence, there were four more punts before the Jags put up a field goal of their own. As you can tell, this was a riveting game.
In the end, both defenses shined, but an 11-play drive which went 85 yards and culminated in a Jared Cook touchdown catch was the difference. The Jaguars possessed the ball for 10 drives and couldn’t muster anything more than two FGs. New Orleans bled out the game’s final six minutes on a long drive which sealed Jacksonville’s fate.
Teddy Bridgewater had 240 passing yards, one passing touchdown, and no interceptions. Latavius Murray was the leading rusher with 44 yards. Michael Thomas paced everyone in receiving with 89 yards.
Gardner Minshew looked like a rookie, with 163 passing yards, no touchdowns, and one interception. Leonard Fournette had 72 rushing yards on 20 carries. Dede Westbrook was Jacksonville’s leading receiver with 53 yards.
NFC South Standings after Week 6
1. New Orleans Saints (5-1 overall record; 1-0 division record) - Next at Bears
2. Carolina Panthers (4-2 overall record; 1-1 division record) - Next at 49ers
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-4 overall record; 1-2 divisional record) - Next Bye