The New Orleans Saints have as strong an argument as anyone to feel like they belong in the Super Bowl this year after the Pass Interference debacle of last year’s playoffs. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers struggled last year but hope to right the ship this year and move out of the divisional cellar. The Carolina Panthers feel good about their chances in the division and are ready to prove it this season. The Falcons have the experience and veteran players to compete with anyone, especially in a shootout! Which one of these teams from the Southeast will represent the division in the playoffs and possibly further?
The Atlanta Falcons are looking to get over the hump and back into the playoffs. They have veteran quarterback and former pro-bowler in Matt “Matty Ice” Ryan to lead them. Their biggest concern has been that the coldest thing about Matt Ryan last year was his QB Rating! Julio Jones is one of the best receivers in the NFL and is a natural leader. The Falcons need to shore up a shaky defense that was decimated by injuries last season. The talent is there but this team has not seemed to recover from the colossal Super Bowl choke of 3 years ago. The Elldee Sports Formula is calling for a poor showing and a 4-win season.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are not projected to do any better than their counterparts in Atlanta. Similar to the Falcons, the Buccaneers have a defensive problem. In fact, TB gave up an NFC worst 30 points per game last season. Where this team differs from the rest of their division, is they have a new coaching staff and zero team leaders rally the team. The quarterback has more off-field problems than you would expect from a potential franchise player and all of the real talent on the team is extremely young. They are only projected to win 2.5 games this year. We at Elldee Sports understand you cannot win half of a game but the formula is predicting a match-up that ends up with the teams being less than a half-point from each other, making it a virtual toss-up.
The real firepower in the NFC South resides in Louisiana as the New Orleans Saints have a very realistic shot at making the Super Bowl this year. Drew Brees leads the Saints into battle this year, once again. It doesn’t seem to matter who the receivers are, Brees makes them look great. What does matter is the running game and Alvin Kamara has been absolutely brilliant as a RB who runs hard, catches well, and can score at any time. The defense is serviceable, right at average and will help carry the Saints to a 13-3 record per the Elldee Sports Formula. That record will be good enough to win the division and net a #3 seed in the NFC Playoffs!
Not to be forgotten, the Carolina Panthers will be lurking. This team is a bit of a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, as they have alternated between impressive campaigns and duds over the last decade. After finishing 7-9 last season, if things continue the same, expect the Panthers to have a stellar season. The Elldee Sports Formula feels the same as they have predicted Carolina to post an 11-5 record. Cam Newton is getting healthy, Christian McCaffrey is an exciting young running back and the always solid defense, led by Luke Kuechly, is the best in the division. The defense should only get better after adding pro-bowler Gerald McCoy from divisional rival Tampa Bay. The 11 wins will be good enough to earn the Panthers a #5 seed and Wild Card playoff match vs the Dallas Cowboys!
The Elldee Sports Formula has predicted 13.5 wins for the NO Saints and 11 wins for the Carolina Panthers, sending both of these squads to the playoffs this season. The Falcons with 4 wins and the Buccaneers with 2.5 will both have to wait until next year to turn things around. Until next time, good luck!