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As of week 9, all teams in this division besides the Panthers have a legitimate shot at winning the division. The defending Super Bowl champs have been no surprise, but Matt Ryan's Atlanta Falcons and The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been more than prepared for this first half.
Remember when the Panthers were the two seed in the playoffs a few seasons ago? That seems like decades ago for Carolina fans. There are no positions on their team in which they can feel confident in. All the Panthers can feel confident in is getting a top pick in the draft next year.
The Bucs' 5 and 3 record may seem impressive, but don't get fooled. The five teams they beat were the Browns, Panthers, Bengals, Rams, and Cardinals. With their second half schedule set to be a little bit tougher, expect the Bucs to fade fast, especially with no consistent quarterback.
The Falcons are a rejuvenated team from last year. The offense is once again explosive, with Matt Ryan hooking up with Roddy White for huge plays. It's just tough to bet against the Saints, considering that their top two running backs have been out for weeks now. The Saints are still one of the top teams in the NFL, but the Falcons are no team to overlook come playoff time.
Projected End of the Year Standings
Saints 12 4
Falcons* 11 5
Buccaneers 7 9
Panthers 2 14