36° Good Afternoon
36° Good Afternoon

NFL 2015: NFC South preview

Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers celebrates

Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers celebrates after a third-quarter Panthers touchdown against the Chicago Bears at Bank of America Stadium on Oct. 5, 2014 in Charlotte, N.C. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Streeter Lecka

Carolina Panthers (10-6)

On the heels of one of the most lowly division-winning campaigns in league history, Carolina actually stands to have a legitimate record in taking the NFC South this time. The Panthers face sub-.500 teams from a year ago 10 times. The defense's strong front seven, plus dynamic quarterback Cam Newton, will get the job done despite a weak receiving corps.

New Orleans Saints (9-7)

New Orleans' window is closing, but the Saints have at least one more run in them. That's provided an ugly defense can give quarterback Drew Brees and the offense some breathing room. For the most part, it will. Brandin Cooks is Brees' most talented receiver in years, but this team will miss tight end and red zone threat Jimmy Graham -- traded to Seattle -- more than they know.

Atlanta Falcons (7-9)

Some teams are all offense and little defense. Atlanta has no defense. Matt Ryan and Julio Jones might set passing and receiving records simply because they'll be on the field constantly. Seven wins might be a bit optimistic here, but the passing game is just too good not to win a few shootouts with lesser competition.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-13)

Tampa needs another year to gel before it's ready to compete again, even in a lackluster NFC South. Top pick Jameis Winston will be under constant pressure during his rookie season while looking for receivers Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson. And other than All-Pro defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, the Bucs' defense won't be too pretty.


We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

Top Photos & Videos