The Atlanta Falcons didn’t play in the 2021 NFL season’s sixth week, which is probably a good thing considering the effect this team can have on one’s mental and physical health.
Though, the three arch-rivals did, and the NFC South standings continue to change as the season progresses.
Let’s check in on those despised division teams and see how they performed this past week.
The Panthers are on a three-game losing streak. The team’s 34-28 overtime loss to the Minnesota Vikings showed that early signs of progress for Carolina might’ve been misleading, and that quarterback Sam Darnold might not be out of the woods with the team when it comes to his early career struggles.
Darnold’s electric start has been suppressed by three consecutive pedestrian starts, and it’s beginning to look like the Carolina hype train might’ve gotten a little ahead of itself when it comes to minting this a surefire playoff contender.
The 3-3 Panthers get an easier opponent this week with the Giants before facing the Falcons on Halloween. With Christian McCaffrey out, things aren’t trending up for Carolina.
The Bucs are still the team to beat in the NFC South. Imagine saying that five years ago. The team’s 28-22 win over the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday night football was a good reminder they’re still a threat in the NFC, though the secondary for Tampa isn’t quite as strong as it was in its Super Bowl run last year.
With teams like the Los Angeles Rams, Arizona Cardinals, Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys all playing like Super Bowl contenders, the Bucs will have their work cut out for them as the season winds on. You can’t ever count out Tom Brady, but he might not be at the top of the pack right now with other teams surging.
The Saints were off this week along with the Falcons, and they get a hamstrung Seattle Seahawks missing Russell Wilson this week. Then, they face this tricky schedule through Dec. 2: vs. Tampa Bay, vs. Atlanta, at Tennessee, at Philadelphia, vs. Buffalo, vs. Dallas.
The Saints will face the absolute grinder in the weeks ahead, which will test for New Orleans if Jameis Winston is a viable starter for them long-term. No game ahead for New Orleans, including the one against Atlanta, should be considered a cake walk.
That’s the NFC South for you! We’ll see how the season progresses as we get closer to the halfway point.