The NFC South used to be a conference that consistently changed hands. For many years the conference championship used to switch between the Atlanta Falcons and the New Orleans Saints. But since Cam Newton came onto the scene, the Carolina Panthers have become a real threat to the two formerly top teams. The Panthers have won the NFC South for the past three years and become the most dominant team in the division as both the Falcons and Saints faltered in their gameplay. The Falcons offensefizzled out and the Saints defense ended up being the second worst in the entire league.

The Falcons' fight

The Atlanta Falcons beat the Washington Redskins in their first preseason game, showing promise to fans. The Falcons cut Roddy White after he had a poor season in 2015 as well as a spat with the new offensive coach Kyle Shanahan. After cutting one of their best offensive weapons, the question was how they would regain the firepower to take back the NFC South. They picked up tight end Austin Hooper from Stanford in the draft and spent a lot of time and money signing new free agents, with a whole slew of new wide receivers and running backs. The Falcons desperately need to find a new star to complement Julio Jones if they want a shot at taking down the Carolina Panthers.

Saints' on the Defense

It is no secret that the New Orleans Saints defense has been awful for the past couple of years. After they lost their biggest defensive weapons to Bountygate, the Saints defense floundered, made worse by losing their indispensable linebacker Johnathan Vilma to a knee injury before cutting him prior to the 2014 season.

Since then the Saints have not gotten their offense in good form. In past years they have tried to overcome this weakness with a high scoring offense, which worked for them as they placed second in the division for the 2014 and 2013 seasons and matched the Carolina Panthers for wins in the 2014 season.

But in the 2015 season they couldn’t keep up. While they were the second best offensive team in the league, it wasn’t enough to carry their terrible defense. The Saints have been working hard to correct this huge problem, drafting plenty of defensive players in the 2016 draft.

Looking forward to the new season

If either of these teams want a shot at beating Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers they must fix their respective problems. The Panthers are a well balanced team and are looking to head back to the Super Bowl for redemption. With the NFC North and the NFC West having more than one tough team, it is unlikely either team will head to the postseason if they cannot edge out the Panthers.

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