This division will be the strongest in the entire NFL this year. The NFC South is home to the defending Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers but also has two other playoff contenders. The Elldee Sports Formula is calling for another strong year for the Buccaneers as they will finish 16-1. There only loss comes to fellow South Division rival New Orleans Saints who will finish second, only due to strength of schedule, at 16-1 as well. The Atlanta Falcons finish third but earn a 7th seed playoff spot at 11-6. The Carolina Panthers will finish 6-11, in part due to the monster schedule they face of playing in the NFC South.
Tampa Bay are projected to top the division and end the season the same as last year, with a Super Bowl championship. They return all 22 starters from a championship team and are led by Tom Brady, quite possibly the greatest quarterback of all time. The Bucs will not have an easy ride, though, as the Saints will give them a run for their money. Even though Drew Brees has retired, New Orleans had a higher ranked rushing attack last year than passing. In fact, they were actually led last year by their defense.
The Atlanta Falcons will finish third in the division with 6 losses but 4 of them will come in their own division. The Falcons are out to prove that the last few years were an aberration. They had one of the worst rushing attacks and defense last season but addressed it in the draft by getting three defensive picks, an O-lineman, and a once-in-a-decade prospect in Kyle Pitts. The Panthers are still rebuilding after reaching the Super Bowl with Cam Newton a half-decade ago. Injuries derailed that career and Christian McCaffrey cannot carry the team by himself. This will be another lackluster year for Carolina but the future looks brighter.