Can anyone win the South division title?

by Gary Shelton on December 16, 2023

in general

Saturday, 4 a.m.

A month to go, and one question remains about the NFC South.

Can anybody win it?

Even in a league where there is much mediocrity, the question remains. The South is at it again. Mediocre quarterbacking, uninspired coaching, soft defenses. Nobody in the South has beaten anybody much, except for each other. It’s a high-priced pillow fight, a bunch of Peach Bowl candidates on the loose.

Yet, someone has to win it.

Don’t they?

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At the present time, Tampa Bay, Atlanta and New Orleans are tied with ordinary records of 6-7. Each team has four games left, two of them division games.  At the end, someone will raise a division title flag.


So where do you place your bet? On the bob-tailed nag or the bay?

Look at the quarterbacks: Baker Mayfield of the Bucs is 14th in the league in passing yards. Derek Carr of the Saints is 17th. Desmond Ridder of Atlanta is 21st. Do any of them scare you?

Look at the defenses: Carolina, of all teams, is fourth. Atlanta is 11th. New Orleans is 13th. Tampa Bay is 27th, and it feels worse.

At this point, it is easier to argue that each team will lose its remaining games than it will be to win them. Tampa Bay has to travel to Green Bay, a tough place to play. It has a head-to-head with the Saints. It has a cross-state matchup with Jacksonville. And it closes out in Carolina.

New Orleans has the Giants, then the Rams, then it closes out at the Bucs and against the Falcons.

The Falcons are at Carolina, home against the Colts, at Chicago and then travel to the Saints.

Who of that lot do you see winning four? Or three? Maybe two.

Is it possible that everyone finishes at 7-10?

For the Bucs, this week will be a critical one. They really haven’t beaten anyone (you can say the same about the other two). Green Bay isn’t great, either. They’re 6-7, too.

Still, it feels as if they’ve had a better year somehow. Doesn’t it?

Prediction: Green Bay 26, Tampa Bay 20.

In other NFL games: 

New Orleans 27, New York Giants 14.

Carolina 16, Atlanta 14.

Kansas City 34, New England 14.

Buffalo 17, Dallas 14.

Philadelphia 27, Seattle 21.

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