New Orleans Saints (8-2 overall, 2-1 division)
- Last week: 34-17 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- This week: 12 pm/cst on Sunday vs Carolina Panthers (5-5)
- Notes: The Saints emphatically answered the question of whether the Week 11 loss at home to the Falcons was a fluke or if there were bigger issues arising. New Orleans’ red zone struggles bit them early on as they settled for two field goals to start the game, but found their groove shortly after. The Saints jumped out to a 20-0 lead and never looked back, while giving Jameis Winston fits by picking him off for four interceptions. With Marshon Lattimore out, Eli Apple and PJ Williams stepped up and made things tough for Mike Evans and Chris Godwin.
Atlanta Falcons (3-7 overall, 2-0 division)
- Last week: 29-3 win over the Carolina Panthers
- This week: 12:00 pm/cst on Sunday vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-7)
- Notes: Although the poor performance from the Saints in Week 11 may have been a fluke, the impressive performance from the Falcons apparently was not. Atlanta, again, went on the road against a good division opponent and dominated in Carolina. The team appears to be giving everything they have to salvage Head Coach Dan Quinn’s job. They have a chance to make it three straight divisional wins with the Buccaneers coming to town this weekend.
Carolina Panthers (5-5 overall, 1-2 division)
- Last week: 29-3 loss to the Atlanta Falcons
- This week: 12:00 pm/cst on Sunday at New Orleans Saints (8-2)
- Notes: Things have changed in a hurry in Carolina, as just a few weeks ago Kyle Allen was being praised as the savior of the Panthers’ season and many believed Cam Newton’s time as the team’s franchise quarterback was already over. After losing three of their last four, they went from hanging close behind the Saints in the division to fighting to stay alive in the NFC Wild Card picture. Things don’t get any easier, either, as Carolina travels to New Orleans this weekend.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-7 overall, 1-3 division)
- Last week: 34-17 loss to the New Orleans Saints
- This week: 12:00 pm/cst on Sunday at Atlanta Falcons (3-7)
- Notes: The Jameis Winston roller coaster continued on Sunday, as he followed up an impressive Week 11 performance with a four interception game against the Saints. Tampa Bay ran the ball a franchise low eight times in the loss, making their offense terribly one-dimensional. After releasing their #1 cornerback Vernon Hargreaves recently, the task of slowing down Michael Thomas became even tougher and he had his way with 8 receptions for 114 yards and a touchdown. Coming in to the game with the #1 run defense in the NFL, Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray averaged 4.4 yards per carry, combined.
NFC South Standings
- New Orleans (8-2)
- Carolina (5-5)–[3 games back]
- Atlanta (3-7)–[5 games back]
- Tampa Bay (3-7)–[5 games back]