NFL Preview 2012: Predicting the NFC South

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NFL Preview 2012: Predicting the NFC South
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The NFC South got a monkey wrench thrown into it once the New Orleans Saints' bounty scheme was made public by the National Football League.

In a division that has seen the Saints stay near the top, the loss of head coach Sean Payton and several players, such as Jonathan Vilma, has opened the door for the rest of the division to possibly dethrone the Saints.

The Atlanta Falcons should be improved as they've moved on from Mike Mularkey's run-first scheme and have switched to Dirk Kotter's air raid offense to better utilize their weapons.

The Carolina Panthers will cross their fingers and hope that Cam Newton will survive the dreaded sophomore slump that has eaten up other rookie phenoms.

And the Tampa Bay Buccaneers begin a new era with a risk as they've plucked Greg Schiano from the college ranks to help give the team some structure.

It's a division that is once again loaded with talent and any team could earn the automatic home playoff game that will become useful in January.

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