The NFC East division may not walk away with the crown as the most competitive division in football this season. The Nfc South is making its bid for that title themselves. The Carolina Panthers and the Atlanta Falcons have been in the Super Bowl in the last two seasons.

The Atlanta Falcons will be the team in the NFC South that will be playing with a chip on its shoulder after allowing the New England Patriots to come back and defeat them in this past Super Bowl. So, expect them to set the tone for the NFC South when the 2017-18 season officially kicks off.


Just two seasons ago, the Carolina Panthers were playing in the Super Bowl against the almost retired Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. Cam Newton had the best season of his professional career by being crowned the league MVP and he led the team to a league best 15-1 record. However, last season the team did a complete 360 when they posted a 6-10 record and missed the playoffs as well.

To make matters worse, the team went from first place in the division to last. Newton suffered a shoulder injury towards the end of the season that required surgery. Cam has been working his way back to the field since and hasn't been throwing too much in training camp, but expects to be ready for the start of the regular season.

The Panthers will need him to be 100 percent healthy if they plan on returning to the team they were two seasons ago. There will be a lot of pressure on the shoulders of the former MVP this season, it will be interesting to see if he rises to the occasion.


The New Orleans Saints missed the post-season again for the third consecutive season despite another good statistical season from their future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees.

The team finished third in their division with a 7-9 record. It's been a rough road for Brees and head coach Sean Payton since winning their only Super Bowl together in 2009. Unlike Newton, Brees was able to take down Peyton Manning in a Super Bowl but he has not been able to lead the Saints to the same heights since.

However, this off-season, New Orleans got one of the best free agent pickups in NFL history when they signed RB Adrian Peterson to a two-year deal.

In the last three seasons, A.D. has only been able to play in 20 of a possible 48 games. He had a season ending injury in just the third game last year and two seasons before that, the NFL suspended him the entire season for child abuse allegations.

The good news for the Saints is, despite the fact Peterson is now 32, in his last healthy season in 2015, he was ranked as the best RB and the fifth best player on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2016 list. So, A.D. may still be capable of helping the Saints win a few extra games. If he does, he could go down as the steal of the off-season.


The Bucs finished above .500 last season for the first time since 2010. Since acquiring QB Jameis Winston in the 2015 NFL Draft, the future for the team has looked promising.

He broke all the rookie QB franchise records that year and was also elected to the Pro Bowl. However, making the playoffs was one of the things he did not achieve in his first year.

Last season, he became the first quarterback in NFL history to pass for over 4,000 yards in his first two seasons. This off-season the team made the move to sign veteran wideout DeSean Jackson, who is known for his speed and deep threat ability. Winston already seems excited about the addition of DeSean and said that he can't wait to use his new weapon frequently this season. On the defensive side of the ball, the team added four-time Pro Bowl CB Brent Grimes.

Despite having a winning record of 9-7, the Bucs missed the playoffs last season because the Lions owned the tiebreaker between the two teams.

So, this season Winston expects the team to finally get over that hump and make their way into post-season play.


There's not much to say about the Falcons other than the fact that they are the defending conference champs looking to take it a step further. They blew a 25-point lead to the Pats in this past Super Bowl, and are ready to put that in the past. According to USA Today's early season projections, the Falcons will win the NFC South division again with a 12-4 record.

With the regular season just about a month away, it shouldn't take long to find out if the impact from the Super Bowl will help the Falcons play at a higher level or mimic the Panthers 2016 season and simply fall off the face of the earth.