Atlanta Falcons: Breaking down the 2015 division games

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Dec 21, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) talks to Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) after their game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Falcons won 30-14. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Despite winning just six games last season, the Atlanta Falcons were surprisingly dominant inside the division. Five of the six victories were against division rivals as the Falcons secured a 5-1 record within the NFC South. Unfortunately the only loss—at home to the Carolina Panthers in Week 17—cost Atlanta a playoff berth.

This year, the division looks to bounce back after the Panthers limped to the NFC South crown with a 7-8-1 record. A similar record is unlikely to get it done again this year. While none of the four teams stand out as legitimate Super Bowl contenders, there have been improvements across the board.

New Orleans has strengthened its defense. While they did lose Jimmy Graham, they received an excellent center in Max Unger as part of the trade. With C.J. Spiller joining the backfield, the Saints should still be able to move the football with a balanced attack.

Tampa Bay’s biggest move was to get quarterback Jamies Winston with the first overall pick. Winston might not be ready to make the Buccaneers contenders yet, but he has all the potential in the world. With receivers Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson, they will be a tougher team to beat this season.

Carolina are in a difficult spot with the loss of Kelvin Benjamin for the season with a torn ACL. Having to line up without one of their star players will be incredibly difficult and it may be too much for them to overcome.

So how will the Falcons fare against each rival? Will they complete a sweep, split or get swept?

Next: Tampa Bay Buccaneers