The NFC South should be a pretty good division in 2018, considering three teams could make a run to the Super Bowl and it would not really surprise anyone as they have been there, or close, recently. I apologize if that last sentence made Saints fans reminisce about Stefon Diggs trotting into the end zone to end their season.
New Orleans is my favorite to win the division because they have more offensive firepower on their roster than anyone else in the division. Mark Ingram is suspended to start the season, which can only mean more touches for Alvin Kamara. Oh the shame! Kamara is one of the most lethal players in the league with the ball in his hands. Drew Brees remains one of the top signal-callers even at his age. There are certainly question marks on the defensive side of the ball, but the Saints will have the ability to outscore their opponents and cover up many of those blemishes. The Saints win 11 games and take the division.
Atlanta is a very talented offensive team, who inexplicably went away from offensive schemes that took them to the Super Bowl. Now, Matt Ryan and company are trying to get their groove back. Along for the ride are Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, Tevin Coleman and Devonta Freeman who each compliment each other and take the pressure and double-teams away. However, that takes us to the other side of the ball. Who is going to rush the passer? Who is going to tackle people? The Falcons will win enough games based on offensive talent alone, but not enough to win the division. Give the Falcons 9 wins and battling for a wildcard spot.
Carolina could very well win this division to the surprise of absolutely no one. They will go as Cam Newton goes. I believe because of the way they both play, Newton and McCaffrey are both ticking time bombs for an injury shelving them for much of the season. If they stay on the field, they could easily replicate their 11-5 season of 2017, but I do feel like Newton will show some regression and McCaffrey’s YPC will decrease without Stewart there to bully people between the tackles. The defense is still good, but probably not as great as when they went to the Super Bowl. Carolina will be right around the 9 win mark, battling with division rival for a wildcard spot.
Tampa Bay is not going to win much of anything in 2018, whether it be games or public relations awards. Jameis Winston is suspended for the first three games of the season, but I do not know if it matters much. Call me rash and pessimistic, but I think we can stick a fork in Jameis Winston. On defense, the Bucs gave up the most passing yards per game in 2017 and did not really feel like addressing the secondary in the off season. Mind-boggling. Fitzpatrick has no Fitzmagic, Winston feels the heat upon his return, and the Bucs give up a trillion passing yards this season en route to a 4 or 5 win season.