Saturday, August 29, 2015

NFC South: Biggest Questions

        Now we take a look at the NFC South, a division that could possibly be one of the NFL's weakest. But that shouldn't deter these teams for vying for a playoff spot in the upcoming season.

Atlanta Falcons: Will the Falcons' defense get better? The Atlanta Falcons' defense altogether was simply anemic. They had allowed the most combined yards on defense in 2014 at 6,372 yards. One promising thing to note for the Falcons was Paul Worrilow, who had 143 combined tackles last year, good for 5th in the NFL. The Falcons did add the likes of LB Justin Durant and DT Paul Solali, so the defense should have nowhere to go but up.
Carolina Panthers: How badly will the Panthers be affected by the loss of Kelvin Benjamin? Kelvin Benjamin emerged as one of Cam Newton's top receivers last season, breaking out for 1,008 yards and nine touchdowns. However, Benjamin will miss the entire 2015 season with a torn ACL, leaving the Panthers without many viable targets for Cam Newton aside from Greg Olsen. Devin Funchess should be a decent receiver, but can he fill the void that Benjamin has left?
New Orleans Saints: Are the Saints transitioning? New Orleans was one of the most popular picks to win the Super Bowl going into the 2014 season. They had a high-profile passer in Drew Brees (who went on to throw for 4,952 yards, 33 touchdowns, and 17 interceptions) and a great tight end in Jimmy Graham. Now that Graham has gone to Seattle, things look a lot different for the Saints. They still have Marques Colston (59 receptions, 902 yards, five touchdowns), but not much else in terms of receivers. Brandin Cooks (53 receptions, 550 yards, three touchdowns) needs to play a bigger role in the offense along with other receivers in order for the Saints to be taken seriously in the NFC South discussion.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Can Jameis Winston truly be a star quarterback? So far, Jameis Winston has looked decent for the Bucs sans the preseason opener versus the Vikings. But one thing he really needs to do is keep his character in check. That means no more making a ruckus in the cafetaria. No more stealing crab legs. No more unsolicited sexcapades. Jameis must keep it together now that he's in the pros.

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