NFL NFC South 2019 Season Preview

Author
by Chris Feery
August 28th 2019, 10:10am

The defending NFC South champion New Orleans Saints are favored to win the division once again.

However, the division’s other three squads are looking like teams that could show improvement in 2019 if everything breaks right.

Let’s take a look at all four squads, starting with the team at the top of the food chain.

NFC South Winner

Favorite to Win the NFC South

New Orleans Saints

Late in the NFC Championship game versus the Los Angeles Rams, the Saints were up and in control. It wasn’t meant to be. A controversial pass interference call helped to push the game to overtime where the Rams would prevail. 

New Orleans has had an entire offseason to stew over the results, but they enter 2019 as a club which should contend again. Drew Brees and the offense should continue to be as potent as usual, while the defense remains better than the stats suggest. 

The Saints are the rightful division favorites, not to mention a Super Bowl contender.   

Saints Season Wins

A contender to Watch in the NFC South

Atlanta Falcons

It wasn’t that long ago that the Falcons were in the Super Bowl. This remains a talented team, but the clock is ticking. Changes have come to the coaching staff as a result.

Head coach Dan Quinn will assume defensive coordinator duties as well, while Dirk Koetter is on board to oversee the offense. 

Matt Ryan remains one of the top signal-callers in the league, and he has plenty of talent surrounding him. Koetter could help return that side of the ball to peak efficiency. Improvement is needed on defense, so the pressure is on Quinn and company to deliver. 

If the offense clicks under Koetter and the defense improves, Atlanta is back in the division and Wild Card conversation.

Falcons Season Wins

The Rest of the NFC South

Carolina Panthers

The Panthers started off the 2018 season looking like a playoff team. Then they collapsed. While many of the fingers have been pointed at Cam Newton playing through injury as a reason for the slide, there is plenty of blame to go around. 

After starting off the year with promise, the defense fell off a cliff. Newton’s injury aside, Carolina lost seven games in a row last year, with many of them being close decisions. A better performance from the defense would have had this team in the Wild Card mix. 

Newton had his shoulder issue fixed in the offseason. If he’s back to form and the defense shows life, the Panthers could be a team to watch.

Panthers Season Wins

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bruce Arians returns to the NFL sidelines after a year in the broadcast booth. This is a solid hire for a Buccaneers team which was in desperate need of a new voice in the room. The first mission for Arians will be for him to work his magic with Jameis Winston. 

He has some pieces around him to work with, including stud wideout Mike Evans, but the pressure is clearly on for him to answer the franchise signal-caller question.

The defense was porous last season, but there are some pieces in place so a turnaround isn’t out of the question. 

Tampa Bay is an interesting squad to watch this year, but it may take at least a year before Arians can get them into contention. 

Bucs Season Wins

Bottom Line on the NFC South

There’s a lot of intrigue to be found on each of the teams in the NFC South. However, the Saints are clearly the best team on paper.

We like them to repeat as division champs and to be a big factor in this year’s postseason.