THE NFC South looks a fascinating division this season in the NFL. Louis Ross (@LouisRoss67) gave us his best bets.
NFC South | 13th September 2015 – 3rd January 2016
To the craziest division of them all now – the NFC South. Of the four teams here, it was something like five years in a row, that the bottom team went and won the thing a year later. Although Tampa Bay won just two games in 2014 there’s no way last year’s losers will be winning the South in 2015.
Division winners in 2014 although with a record that contained just seven wins. That is so poor. Under 11 is bad but 7? The Panthers biggest issue this season is that their offence is almost completely reliant on Quarterback Cam Newton.
Their best Wide Receiver Kelvin Benjamin tore his ACL in training camp and is done for the year. Their Number 2 Receiver this year will be Rookie, Devin Fuchness. He has a massive task. Jonathan Stewart is pretty much alone at RB. Head Coach ‘Riverboat’ Ron Rivera has a huge task to repeat last years win. He won’t.
Coach Mike Smith has gone. Good luck to Dan Quinn, he will need it with Kyle Shanahan as his Offensive Coordinator but I really liked what Smith did with this team.
Matt Ryan is one of those QBs that is entertaining and frustrating in equal measure. He is always going to throw big time touchdowns when he has Julio Jones as a weapon, but Roddy White is recovering from elbow surgery and not the force he once was. The defence will be what lets this team down. Again. Second place seems theirs for the keeping.
New Orleans Saints
Everybody loves The Saints don’t they? 10 years on from Hurricane Katrina and eight years since that wonderful victory in Super Bowl 42, is it time for Bourbon Street to have hope again? Well, in Drew Brees, you have the first guy to throw 5000 Yards in a season. A future Hall Of Famer without doubt, Brees has carried this team for a decade.
Mark Ingram is back to run the ball, CJ Spiller is a really interesting recruit. Sean Payton could have done with losing stellar Tight End, Jimmy Graham and your Receiving Group being led by Brandin Cooks is less than ideal but I’ve got a good feeling about this group. Rob Ryan will surely have his defence ready to go. Win the division, get smashed in the playoffs. It’s a start anyway.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Glazers seem to be in the middle of a process to dismantle everything Fergie did at Manchester United and I am incredibly happy about that. They are doing a similarly wonderful job with the poor Bucs. THE worst team in football with a 2-14 record in 2014.
Poor old Lovie Smith has traded my Bears (not directly) for the delights of Raymond James Stadium. Oh dear. The bonus of being so awful last year? Number One pick in the Draft and they used it to take the star Quarterback from Florida State, Jameis Winston. Look, he’s got some weapons. Mike Evans is a Stud Receiver and Doug Martin a more than adequate Rusher. But other than that they are dire. 32 of 32 last year. They will do well to be 31 this time round.
NFC South – New Orleans Saints to win NFC South (19/10 888 Sport)
NFC South – Tampa Bay Buccaneers Under 6.5 Wins (6/5 Bet365)