Fans have been polled about who they expect to win the NFC South, and the results are…gross and offensive.
As you’d expect after a year where most of the NFC South was a vast disappointment and the Saints largely excelled, the Saints are the heavy favorite to win the division this coming year. That’s especially true after a free agency period where the Saints did not demonstrably get worse and may well have gotten better, with only the Buccaneers (who have a new coach and some radical changes to come) showing similar growth this early on.
Still, it’s a little surprising that nearly 75% of fans in the NFC South FanPulse survey thoughts the Saints would triumph this upcoming year, given that the Panthers and Falcons have been very good teams in the fairly recent past. One imagines that the expectation is that the new pass interference rules won’t kill their defensive backs, that Drew Brees’ late season arm swoon won’t continue, and that an admittedly very good roster will be enough to carry them to victory. That’s probably a reasonable (if, again, gross) assumption, but a healthy Falcons team and a Panthers team with an actual offensive line could certainly easily challenge New Orleans. The Buccaneers are probably a year or two away, as they often are.
A lot could change between now and September, with the NFL Draft (where the Saints are notably going to be limited), a long summer of workouts and competition, and more ahead. We’ll hope what’s to come can help propel Atlanta by their most hated rivals.
How do you see the division shaking out here in early April?