is going to win this division. And they are going to put up 12
or 13 wins while doing it.
like the swagger they’re showing this season. It’s a confidence
thing. For me, it’s a result of beating Arizona in the playoffs
last year. Sure… they were 7-8-1 and a division winner hosting
a playoff game. Sure… Arizona started a quarterback you don’t
remember. (It was Ryan Lindley.) Look at the bigger picture.
It was Ryan Lindley.)
2014 Carolina Panthers were the first team in the ten-plus year
history of the NFC South to win the division back-to-back years.
Go ahead. Look it up. No team had won the division in consecutive
seasons until Carolina in 2013 and 2014.
it was a playoff victory.
Newton has control of the locker room and is getting great press
as the team leader. Offense is scoring and defense is playing
trouble is, I can’t decide which team is better, Carolina or Arizona.
Probably the Panthers… and there’s your number two seed.
I don’t see them as a strong 12 win team. They are not a dominant
team. They just beat Tampa Bay 37-23, but scored 20, 24, and 27
against Jacksonville, Houston and New Orleans. Yeah… that’s good…
but in the past two weeks they’ve given up 22 and 23.
to know why I find them difficult to judge? Jacksonville… Houston…
New Orleans… Tampa Bay. Who the heck have they played? I don’t
know if they match up well against a great defense. I don’t know
if they can stop a great offense. As of this week, they’ve played
four games and honestly haven’t faced stiff competition.
with Seattle (struggling and not looking nearly as great this
season) and Philadelphia (another team with question marks all
over the place) as the next opponents, I don’t know if we’ll have
a real read on Carolina any time soon.
November 8th. The Panthers are hosting the Packers. That should
give you an idea of where they really stand.
Falcons needed 14 points in the fourth quarter to get a comeback
victory against the Giants. That one was strange… and yet, also
shows the questions I have about Atlanta.
is giving up over 20 a game. So while the offense is potentially
explosive (Julio Jones… for my money, best receiver in the game
today), if they aren’t in rhythm and struggle, this team could
find themselves in trouble against teams that don’t play Jekyll
and Hyde the way the Giants have so far this year.
is a quality club. Just shy of Carolina… and could be better than
Carolina. But, for now, 10 or 11 wins and a wild card team. Do
not be surprised if they make it to the playoffs and advance though.
Because I think they’re in that conversation with Arizona and
Carolina as one of the better NFC teams right now. And in a season
where so many teams are starting to look average (and a few look
dreadful), potentially explosive offense works.
can’t think of a single nice thing to say here.
want to. I want to say nice things. But this is just a year for
playing out the string.
by Tennessee and Carolina, and beaten by Houston. Houston. They
lost to Houston.
there you go.
Saints concern me. I just haven’t seen them play well, for more
than a game or two here and there, since 2013. They aren’t playing
well at home. They aren’t closing out or winning games they should
thing is… if Carolina or Atlanta cools off, this is the team that
might be able to sneak back into the playoff mix. I doubt it.
I don’t see it happening. But…
is a quarterback that I think knows how to win. Didn’t show it
last year. He’ll need to hold up on the field though, as obviously
he’s had troubles with that this year. And those troubles find
him looking to play a bit differently this season. Smarter. More
veteran, if you will.
Ryan really hasn’t had a truly dominant (or even scary) defense
here in New Orleans, but there have been glimpses at times.
why do I think they have a shot?
out this stretch to end the year… at Houston, Carolina, at Tampa
Bay, Detroit, Jacksonville, and at Atlanta. Yeah… that’s right.
They should go at least 4-2 to end the year. So if they can work
their way to 5-5 or 6-4, there is a chance that December will
provide meaningful games for the Saints.