Predicting Over/Under Wins for the NFC South
The NFC South is always an interesting division. Predicting the order of finish for these teams is almost impossible. Teams bounce up and down through the standings like the NASDAQ average, making for exciting finishes and sometimes a prominent candidate or two for Super Bowl glory.
Carolina will see its prospects improve as Cam Newton takes another step toward elite quarterback status. The Pro Bowl alternate showed that he has the tools to play in the NFL, starting every game in 2011. The Panthers won four of their last six games and hope to turn the corner this season.
Where do the Saints find themselves in the wake of Bountygate, Loomis-Gate and whatever other gates that we might have missed? In a leadership vacuum, one could argue.
Head coach Sean Payton and middle linebacker Jonathan Vilma will sit out the entire 2012 season. Quarterback Drew Brees, still upset after being slapped with the franchise tag, is no longer the feel-good figurehead for this franchise. There's not much to feel good about at all right now.
Will the Atlanta Falcons, who have made the playoffs in three of the last four seasons, ever get off the one-and-done schnide? They have their franchise quarterback in Matt Ryan, but their supporting cast is getting older. Tight end Tony Gonzalez, running back Michael Turner and defensive end John Abraham won't be around to contribute much longer.
First-year head coach Greg Schiano will have his hands full in Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers finished 2011 on a 10-game losing streak, and spent the offseason trading away arguably their best player in tight end Kellen Winslow. What we'll get from last year's cellar dweller is anyone's guess.
NFC North lead blogger Andrew Garda and I play a game of Over-Under with the NFC South in our latest debate. Enjoy our predictions in the video above and leave us your picks in the comments.
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