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NFC South Primer: What Team Has The Biggest Question Mark?

TAMPA, FL - FEBRUARY 01:  A marching band performs during the pre-game show prior to the start of Super Bowl XLIII between the Arizona Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Steelers on February 1, 2009 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)
Dustin RoederCorrespondent IMay 1, 2009

It's going to be a tough year as the teams play the NFC East and AFC East. If each team wins their conference home games like they did in 2008, and each team was to lose to the Giants, Patriots, and Cowboys, the best any team could finish is 9-7. The division winner will probably be the only conference team to make the playoffs.

Each team is working on building their defense. Carolina got a pass rusher, the Saints got a make over, Tampa has a different scheme and is faster. Then there are the Falcons who just drafted a whole new defense (seven players).

New Orleans is the only team that can't rely on their run game. Tampa, Atlanta, and Carolina all thrive on it. Each of those three teams have two running backs that teams must respect. Reggie Bush doesn't average four yards a carry, and fumbles a lot. I'd try to make the Saints beat me running the ball.

Passing the ball is the thing the Saints do extremely well—in fact they do it so well that they forget about the run game sometimes.

The Panthers have a game-breaker in Smith, the Falcons have more weapons than Pakistan, and the Bucs have speed and size, but are very unproven. I'd put nine in the box, and make the Bucs throw it to win. The same with the Panthers. Delhomme is going color blind at his old age.

In the south, every team has a big question mark. Whichever team can make the question mark a strength will win the division. My bet is the Atlanta Falcons.

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