NFC South Preview, by PredictionStrike!
Hopefully, you all had a great Independence Day. The holiday is a halfway point of sorts until training camp begins to open across the NFL. We will continue our breakdown this week with the NFC South!
This division is in a major realignment after the retirement of Tom Brady ($12.44). It would appear as of now that Baker Mayfield ($1.83) is going to be the lead dog for Tampa Bay this season. I still believe Mike Evans ($9.60) is going to be a solid playmaker for this team along with Chris Godwin ($11.88). The offensive line remains a question mark for this team, and it remains to be seen just how productive this offense can be. If the offensive line can hold up, Tampa Bay can remain a viable playoff contender with the pieces they have on their supporting defense. However, the offensive line was so horrific last year, it remains to be seen if the improvement needed is possible.
As for the Saints, the addition of Derek Carr ($2.58) figures to make them the favorites by many pundits. It remains to be seen if Alvin Kamara ($4.42) will be suspended or if he is going to be a full-go for this team. There hasn't been a lot of news regarding a suspension just yet, but if there is indeed one it figures to make Jamaal Williams ($6.27) a viable investment. Defenses will struggle to stack the box against this team as Chris Olave ($5.84) and Michael Thomas ($11.97) should be adequate support for Carr this coming season.
I am far from a Dennis Allen believer, and in fact, the last time Dennis Allen was fired Derek Carr was his quarterback. On paper, this team should be the best in the division and should easily win the division. However, I can't shake the feeling that Allen is a better coordinator than a head coach. This feels like a make-or-break season for him, and after starting Andy Dalton ($2.08) almost all last season I can't help but think the team is going to underperform and not make the playoffs.
If the Saints and Buccaneers can't bring home the division title this year what about the Atlanta Falcons? I have little to no faith that Desmond Ridder ($1.84) is going to be the answer for Atlanta. However, this division is still wide open, and to the point, I could see a team going 8-9 and winning it. Outside of Ridder, the Falcons have one of the best offenses on paper with the drafting of Bijan Robinson. If teams try and take the run away the Falcons have Kyle Pitts ($1.79) and Drake London ($3.97) as well. Ridder isn't going to have to be great to win games for this team, he just can't be awful. We have seen Arthur Smith turn Ryan Tannehill ($5.15) into an efficient quarterback using the run to set up the pass. I wouldn't be surprised if Ridder can be efficient and the offense runs through Bijan Robinson and this team wins more games than anyone thinks. I also wouldn't rule out a mid-season Ryan Tannehill acquisition if this team is right around .500. The Falcons can be a surprise team this year!
Lastly, the Carolina Panthers. I don't expect them to be very good, even with the addition of Bryce Young. While many people expect Young to be a generational talent, I'm squarely off of that notion. The size scares me as does his situation. There is little talent on this team featuring Adam Thielen ($2.09) as their primary weapon on offense. There is little for fans to get excited about on this side of the ball and while the defense is good, and young, I don't believe they're capable of carrying this team to a surprise playoff birth!