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.
This article series’ sole purpose will be to take a look at the weekly performances of the New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Carolina Panthers and to look at how the NFC South is shaping up week in and week out.
In a back and forth matchup which featured just one total punt, the Saints escaped with a victory thanks to a very long missed field goal.
The fireworks started early in the game and lasted throughout the entire afternoon. With the exception of one drive which ended with a lost fumble, every other Saints drive in the first half resulted in a touchdown, and they were still only up by four points at the break.
Down by as many as 11 early on, Carolina used D.J. Moore to fight all the way back to a 24-24 tie. Then, down by 3, as they looked poised to at the very least kick a game-tying field goal, the Panthers’ offense had back to back negative plays to make that a 65-yard FG which was short.
Drew Brees had 287 passing yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. Alvin Kamara registered 148 yards from scrimmage. Marquez Callaway was the leading receiver with 75 yards.
Teddy Bridgewater had 254 passing yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. There was no run game as leading rusher Mike Davis had a minuscule 12 yards. D.J. Moore had a game high 93 receiving yards and two touchdowns.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 45, Oakland Raiders 20
It was a valiant effort from the Raiders, who actually possessed a 10-7 lead at the end of the first quarter, but it was yet another vintage performance from Tom Brady which turned the Bucs offense into a buzzsaw which Oakland just could not keep up with.
The score was close at the end of three (24-20), with the Raiders doing what they could to fight back from behind. A 21-0 blitz by Tampa Bay in the fourth quarter, however, both sealed the game and guaranteed a crooked number on the scoreboard.
Brady was spectacular — 369 passing yards, five total touchdowns (four passing; one rushing), and no turnovers. Leonard Fournette was the leading rusher with 50 yards as he and Ronald Jones split carries. Scotty Miller was the leading receiver with 109 yards and a score.
Derek Carr had 284 passing yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Josh Jacobs was bottled up with 17 rushing yards on 10 carries. Nelson Agholor had 107 receiving yards and a touchdown.
NFC South Standings after Week 7
1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-2 overall record; 1-1 division record) - Next at Giants (MNF)
4. Atlanta Falcons (1-6 overall record; 0-1 division record) - Next at Panthers (TNF)