Breaking down the NFC South for 2014-15 NFL Season

By Trey Crosby III


Carolina Panthers

Last Season Record:12-4

2014 Record Prediction: 11-5

Impact Players: Cam Newton, Greg Hardy, Luke Kuechly

Rookie Impact: Kelvin Benjamin

Top Pickups: Jerricho Cotchery, Antoine Cason

Needs to Step Up: Byron Bell

Overall Thoughts: Carolina has what it takes to compete with the premier teams in the NFC. The Cats return the core of their top five defense from last season and there is no reason to believe they can’t be even better than before. Many pundits are writing Carolina off, I am not.

New Orleans Saints

Last Season Record: 11-5

2014 Record Prediction: 12-4

Impact Players: Drew Brees, Jimmy Graham, Jairus Byrd

Rookie Impact: Brandin Cooks

Top Pickups: Champ Bailey

Needs to Step Up: Pierre Thomas, Mark Ingram

Overall Thoughts: The Saints came very close to winning the South last season. Look for them to lead the charge and compete for a title yet again. Drew Brees and Co. must play better on the road in order to achieve the goals they have set for themselves this season.

Atlanta Falcons

Last Season Record: 4-12

2014 Record Prediction: 9-7

Impact Players: Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Roddy White

Rookie Impact: Devonta Freeman, Jake Matthews

Top Pickups: Devin Hester

Needs to Step Up: Osi Umenyiora, ENTIRE DEFENSE

Overall Thoughts: The Falcons dropped to 4-12 last season largely due to injuries to their top wideouts throughout the season. With those guys back, the Falcons should obviously be better, but without even a mediocre defense and a run game that is more “meh” than anything, I’m just not sure how they survive from week to week. Their pass game should keep them in the hunt for a Wild Card spot, but that’s about it for ATL.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Last Season Record: 4-12

2014 Record Prediction: 6-10

Impact Players: Doug Martin, Vincent Jackson, Gerald McCoy, Lavonte David

Rookie Impact: Mike Evans

Needs to Step Up: Whoever is under center

Overall Thoughts: “Basement Bay” actually has the pieces to be a really good team. But, with a new coach and a journeyman for a starting quarterback, I’m skeptical of how much they can accomplish this season. I do think they improve, but not enough to make an immediate impact.


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