NFC South: New Orleans Saints come out on top once again

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The New Orleans Saints are coming off their most successful season in franchise history as they were able to go through almost the entire NFL regular season undefeated and beat some of the best teams in the league in the playoffs like the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC championship game and the Indianapolis Colts in the Super Bowl.

Here is a rundown of the NFC South heading into next season:

Atlanta Falcons (last season: 9-7)
Last season was brutal for the Atlanta Falcons as they had high hopes of competing with the best of the best in the NFC Conference, but right as the season really started to get going for the Falcons, the team suffered one major injury after another.

Not only was their best running back Michael Turner banged up all season long, but Pro Bowl wide receiver Roddy White and face of the franchise in quarterback Matt Ryan also were battling injuries at times during this season.

Even though the team’s three best players were never really playing at a 100% all season long, the Falcons were still able to stay afloat with a 9-7 record, but they missed out on the playoffs.

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This season the Atlanta Falcons one concern will be keeping their star players healthy in order to compete with the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints in their division. It will be a dog fight throughout the entire season between the Saints and the Falcons, but I am not sure whether or not Atlanta can compete with Drew Brees and company.

Carolina Panthers (last season: 8-8)
Over the past half decade or so, the Carolina Panthers were thought to be potential Super Bowl contenders heading into every single season as they had the total package with a potent offense and a lockdown defense.

Despite making it all the way to Super Bowl a few years ago, only to lose to the New England Patriots, the Panthers were able to remain competitive in the NFC, at least until last season.

With quarterback Jake Delhomme having the worst season of his career and just nothing going right for the Panthers all season long, Carolina stood no chance to make the playoffs or compete with teams like the Saints, Vikings and Cowboys in the conference.

This season should be different as the team has been turned over to a promising young quarterback Matt Moore. This young kid still has yet to prove himself, but he looks like he could be the next face of the franchise and possibly lead the team into the playoffs next season.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (last season: 3-13)
Besides the St. Louis Rams (1-15) and the Detroit Lions (2-14), no other team in the league had a worse than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Back in 2003, the Bucs were one of the best teams in the league led by arguably the best defense in the NFL. Now the Bucs are nothing more than a shell of this once dominant defense and will remain near the bottom of the league for quite some time with little hope for the future.

New Orleans Saints (last season: 13-3 division title)
In this division, the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints only have one real threat to compete with them in the Atlanta Falcons. If the Falcons can stay healthy throughout next season, they will have a good chance of being able to give the Saints a run for their money.

Personally, I believe that the Falcons do have the kind of talent to compete with the Saints, but Drew Brees and company are still the cream of the crop in the NFL right now and will be extremely tough to beat next season.

NFC South title prediction: We like the New Orleans Saints

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