Sunday, August 28, 2011

NFC South: 2011 Outlook

The NFC South will play against a couple tough divisions in 2011: the NFC North, very tough from top-to-bottom, as well as the AFC South.

1 - New Orleans (13-3)

For being the defending Super Bowl Champs, The Saints flew under the radar much of last year despite having a solid season. While they had a poor showing in the 2010 postseason against Seattle, the team gave a solid defense for their Championship. I think this Offense continues to be among the league's best, and the Defense plays more consistent football in 2011. One of the best couple teams in the NFC.
2 - Atlanta (10-6)
The Falcons were already a good team last year, but they figure to be even more explosive on Offense in 2011. The addition of Julio Jones should be an instant upgrade over Michael Jenkins as the 2nd WR playing opposite stud #1 WR Roddy White. Originally I thought by trading up for Jones, Atlanta ignored bigger problems on the Defense. That's not the case. The team brought back Brent Grimes, and bolstered their pass rush by signing Ray Edwards. The Saints win the division, the Falcons go back to the Playoffs.
3 - Tampa Bay (8-8)
The Bucs came out of nowhere last year, and really caught the league by surprise. Called "youngry" by Head Coach Raheem Morris, Tampa Bay is an exciting young team that's looking to build on a successful 2010 campaign. QB Josh Freeman appears on the verge on stardom, and he has some real weapons in RB LeGarrette Blount, TE Kellen Winslow and WR Mike Williams. This is a good team, capable of making the Playoffs, but I think they take a step back in 2011.
4 - Carolina (4-12)
I think the Panthers have more talent than people may realize. If they're completely healthy, and that's a big "if", Carolina's got some serious potential on Defense. Jon Beason is an absolute beast; he should continue his ascent among the top LB's in the league, and Thomas Davis is as quick of a LB that you'll find. This team will struggle behind a 1st-year Head Coach and a Rookie QB, but they're good enough to beat some good teams.

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