We are officially less than a week away from seeing some football (If it doesn’t get canceled again like last year’s HOF game) as the Cardinals will face off against the Defending NFC East champion Dallas Cowboys in the Hall of Fame game on Thursday. It’s time for a divisional preview.
Today’s preview will not be over either division that will be playing in the HoF game on Thursday night. We’re discussing one of the strongest divisions in football, a division that that has represented the NFC in the last 2 Super Bowls (Carolina in 2015, Atlanta in 2016). Let’s start this up with the team that represented the NFC in the Super Bowl last year…
Atlanta Falcons (Last Season 11-5, 2016 NFC CHAMPIONS):
The Falcons are coming off one of the biggest upsets in NFL Super Bowl history after blowing a 28-3 lead. Returning the same offense that turned out to be one of the greatest in the history of the league without OC Kyle Shanahan.
Can they rebound from a crushing defeat in the Super Bowl?
Will OC Steve Sarkisian keep the same offensive system Kyle Shanahan left?
If the answer is yes to both of those questions their winning the division again.
MY PREDICTION: 11-5, 2017 Division Champions.
Carolina Panthers: Last Season 6-10, Missed Playoffs):
The Panthers are coming off a under average season that included Cam Newton completing only 53% of his passes. Rushing for only half the yards he did in the Super Bowl season. An offseason that included a stunning GM firing in Dave Gettleman. Cam newton is coming back into Training camp 20 LBS less than he ended the season with. And it has been reported that he want’s to have more rush attempts this season.
Will Cam Newton play like the 2015 version of himself or this new version of himself?
Will there be a defense in Carolina this year?
If these questions can be answered with yes, their going to compete for the top of the division.
MY PREDICTION: 8-8 3rd in NFC South
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Last Season 9-7, 2nd in NFC South):
The Buccaneers are coming off their first winning season since 2010. Big improvements shown in Jameis Winston’s second year in the offense. Buccaneers DC Mike Smith brought the Buccaneers defense to life at the halfway point of the season.
Will the Buccaneers start up slowly again this year?
Can the defense continue to build off of last years success?
MY PREDICTION: 10-6, 2nd in NFC South, Wild-Card Birth
New Orleans Saints (Last Season 7-9, 3rd in NFC South):
This can summarize the Saints over the last 3 seasons, Drew Brees continues to break records as the saints continue to be good and great on offense but i could bring myself and a group of people off the streets and score 30 on that defense in a game. Until the saints improve on defense their going to have .500 or worse seasons.
Is the defense going to show the smallest of improvements?
Will we notice the age of Drew Brees at any point during the season?
Will Sean Peyton’s tenure in New Orleans come into question if the Saints start to fail this season?
MY PREDICTION: 7-9. 4th in NFC South