Injury wreaked havoc in the NFC South in 2018. The Falcons, Panthers, and Bucs dealt with an ever-changing rotation of players that kept them from postseason contention despite high hopes during the preseason.

In 2019, they look to reload to stop the Saints from three-peating the division.

Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons were decimated by injuries a season ago. Defensive lineman Steven Means and safety J.J. Wilcox are already on injured-reserve while several other players are recovering from minor injuries. If quarterback Matt Ryan and WRs Julio Jones, and Calvin Ridley connect early, the Falcons should score wins against the Vikings, Eagles, Titans, and Cardinals. Weeks 7-11 will be crucial to their postseason run with games against LA, Seattle, New Orleans, and Carolina in a row. The NFL’s sixth toughest schedule doesn’t ease up until week 14 where the Falcons could potentially end the season with four straight wins.

Prediction: 9-7 (3-3)

Carolina Panthers

Carolina is coming off a season to forget in which a season with high playoff hopes ended at 7-9. Cam Newton is on the hot seat after the Panther drafted quarterback Will Grier, and Newton won’t have a great body of receivers to throw to. After a forgetful opener against the Rams, the Panthers will look good against Tampa Bay, Arizona, and Jacksonville. After getting upset in week six by the Bucs, a bye week will help the Panthers get back on track and win their next four. Last season, the Panthers lost seven of eight to end the season. This season, the Panthers get New Orleans (twice), a trip to Atlanta, and Indianapolis, and a visit from the Seahawks. It’s possible they experience Deja vu in 2019.

Prediction: 8-8 (2-4)

New Orleans Saints

If you take a look at the Saints depth chart, you’ll be overwhelmed with talent. Not only is the offense stacked, but the defense was No. 2 at stopping the run. The Saints rested their starters in week 17 to finish 13-3, but their roster can do better this year against opponents that finished for a combined 125-131 record a season ago. After a brutal three-game stretch against the Texans, Rams, and Seahawks to open the season, the Saints will get in rhythm and march right through their competition. Unless the starters come out, or the injury bug bites, the Saints will improve in 2019.

Prediction: 14-2 (6-0)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Bucs had a great opportunity to be good in 2018. They had one of the best WR cores in the NFL, but that was then and this is now. The Bucs will battle tough early in the season edging the 49ers, Giants, Panthers (once), and Cardinals. But as the season progresses, the Bucs will wear down and collapse against a tougher than average schedule. This is a contract season for quarterback Jameis Winston. If he can’t put together a winning season, he may not find another starting job in the NFL.

Prediction: 4-12 (1-5)

NFC South Standings: 2019-20 Prediction

Saints 14-2 (6-0)

Falcons 9-7 (3-3)

Panthers 8-8 (2-4)

Buccaneers 4-12 (1-5)

Featured Image: OutKick the Coverage
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