Thursday, August 11, 2011

NFC South Predictions

This is a division that featured three teams over .500, two of which made the playoffs. Three teams will once again be in contention for the playoffs in this division. This is a division that is loaded at the quarterback position, and some really good young guns.

Josh Neighbors 4th: Carolina Panthers: Cam Newton is not the answer to all of Carolina's problems. Steve Smith is a great wide receiver on a terrible team. Johnathon Stewart is developing into a strong running back. The offensive pieces are there, but with a somewhat shortened training camp and a rookie QB, things will be rough this year. This defense alacks some serious pieces, as they only held teams under 20 points twice last season.

Connor Jones4th: Carolina Panthers: This one does not need to much explaining. Carolina was horrible last year. They did get Cam Newton with the number one overall pick but he will not help the get out of the cellar this year. I do believe Carolina is heading in a good direction. They started this process by re-signing some of their top players from last years team including running back DeAngelo Williams and line backer James Anderson. The Panthers also signed undrafted free agent Kendric Burney a corner back from North Carolina. Burney is a real talent, the only reason he was not drafted because of his off the field problems at North Carolina. With these additions, Carolina could win three or four more games than they did last year.

Josh Neighbors 3rd:  Tampa Bay Buccaneers: I am very high on Josh Freeman. In his 2nd year he threw 25 touchdowns and only 6 interceptions, and lead the Bucs to a 10-6 season. Mike Williams caught 11 of those TD’s last year. Sammie Stroughter is showing much improvement and will develop into a great target for Freeman. Legarrette had over 1,000 yards last year. The defense is just as young as the offense with the exception of Ronde Barber. That is the teams downfall. Bucs fans just wait for 2 or 3 years, you will be in the playoffs.

Connor Jones3rd: Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Tampa Bay will not be the average 3rd place team in a division. The only reason they are stuck in the back half of the division is because the Atlanta Falcons and the New Orleans Saints are in this division. And Josh Freeman is not the average 3rd place quarterback in a division and this is only because Matt Ryan and Drew Brees are in this division. The Bucs will be strong on offense with 1,000 yard rusher Legarrette Blunt and 25 touchdown thrower Josh Freeman. Tampa will compete for the wild card once again this season and will have somewhere between 8-10 wins.

Josh Neighbors 2nd: New Orleans Saints: Drew Brees leads this offense that in my mind has no big name receiver. The addition of Darren Sproles and Mark Ingram at running back will really help Drew Brees. Even as a rookie I think Ingram’s work ethic is inspiring to veterans as well as other young players. Defensively, this secondary is loaded. Right to left you have Tracy Porter, Roman Harper, Darren Sharper, and Jabari Greer. I am not saying the Saints are getting worse..... The Falcons are just getting better.

Connor Jones 2nd: Atlanta Falcons: Atlanta will come in second place and win a wild card this year. Young stud quarterback Matt Ryan will lead them to double-digit wins once again. The Falcons will rely on running back Michael Turner to help give them an attack in the air as well as on the ground. They added a weapon on the outside in Julio Jones who should work well along side Roddy White. This team has proven they are ready to win and ready to win now and I believe they will enact these plans this year.

Josh Neighbors 1st: Atlanta Falcons: Matt Ryan is not a kid anymore. For the Atlanta Falcons, the time is now. Michael Turner is the most physical running back in the league. Roddie White is one of the biggest freaks at the wide receiver position, and the Falcons are only getting stronger with the addition Julio Jones. Tony Gonzalez is a rock at the tight end position. The pieces are there for Matt Ryan and I think he can utilize them well enough to win the division. Oh yeah, that defense is not to bad either. Mike Smith is coaching the team with the most well rounded offense int he entire league, and I think that will win this division in the 2011-2012 season.

Connor Jones 1st: New Orleans Saints: Those off-season workouts are going to pay off. Drew Brees is like a . Tim Tebow with more talent. He will once again spread the ball around and have six players with a least five touchdowns. New Orleans is strong in all aspects of the offensive game, they do not rely on one wide out to carry them instead they let everyone get in on the action. They have brought in running back Darren Sproles to boost the ground game and have brought in veteran center Olin Kreutz to boost the offensive line. The Saints are motivated and are back to fight for their second championship in three years.

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