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Week 9 NFC South Report

New Orleans Saints (7-1 overall, 1-0 division)

  • Last week: 31-9 win over the Arizona Cardinals
  • This week: Bye
  • Notes: Drew Brees made his return from his torn UCL surgery and didn’t skip a beat. The Saints head in to their bye week with their Hall of Fame quarterback back in control, while steadily getting healthier in other key positions. Alvin Kamara is expected back for the team’s Week 10 matchup with the division rival Atlanta Falcons. Jared Cook and Tre’Quan Smith should also be back soon. Keep an eye on Keith Kirkwood, who has been on the IR since injuring his hamstring in warm-ups before the Week 2 game in Los Angeles. He will be eligible to return after the Falcons game. The Saints chose to stand pat at the trade deadline today, despite plenty of rumors that they were targeting a wide receiver or tight end to bolster the passing attack. Aside from the return of guys like Cook, Smith, and Kirkwood, they may also look towards guys like Lil’Jordan Humphrey and/or Emmanuel Butler from the practice squad.

Atlanta Falcons (1-7 overall, 0-0 division)

  • Last week: 27-20 loss to the Seattle Seahawks
  • This week: Bye
  • Notes: It was another loss for the Falcons as they have pretty much hit rock bottom. Rumors are swirling that head coach Dan Quinn could be fired during the team’s bye, but owner Arthur Blank told the media that no changes were imminent. Matt Ryan missed the game against Seattle with an ankle injury, forcing veteran Matt Schaub in to action. Ryan’s health will be something to keep an eye on as Atlanta comes to New Orleans following each team’s bye this week.

Carolina Panthers (4-3 overall, 1-1 division)

  • Last week: 51-13 loss to the San Francisco 49ers
  • This week: 12:00 pm/cst on Sunday vs Tennessee Titans (4-4)
  • Notes: The Kyle Allen hype train took it’s first hit as the Panthers got demolished by the undefeated 49ers on Sunday. The talented San Francisco defense gave Allen serious issues, making him look like an actual backup. He will be starting again this week, but Cam Newton appears to be getting close to his return.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-4 overall, 1-2 division)

  • Last week: 27-23 loss to the Tennessee Titans
  • This week: 3:05 pm/cst on Sunday at Seattle Seahawks (6-2)
  • Notes: Jameis Winston had a second straight game in which he turned the ball over four or more times. This week, it was two interceptions and two fumbles lost. Tampa Bay led for most of the second half, but a Tennessee touchdown late in the 4th quarter was too much to overcome. Winston’s turnover frenzy continues to be the Buccaneers demise.

NFC South Standings

  1. New Orleans (7-1)
  2. Carolina (4-3)–[2.5 games back]
  3. Tampa Bay (2-5)–[4.5 games back]
  4. Atlanta (1-7)–[6 games back]

Be sure to follow me on Twitter @DCBilliotJr for daily Saints talk and live tweeting of each and every game!