Can the Atlanta Falcons bounce back? NFC South Week 7 preview


It’s a busy week for the NFC South, with all four teams in action. The Buccaneers return from bye, the Falcons look to rebound, the Panthers want to keep the perfect record intact and the Saints are looking to continue the fight back. Let’s take a look at the Week 7 games.

Atlanta Falcons (5-1) at Tennessee Titans (1-4): Sunday at 1 p.m. EST

The Atlanta Falcons were humbled by the Saints on Thursday Night Football last week, and they have had 10 days to stew on the loss. On the road again taking on a struggling Titans team, the Falcons look to get back to winning ways and post a sixth victory on the year.

Tennessee will be without rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota, and a struggling offensive line could provide the Atlanta pass rush a chance to get some sacks, something it’s been unable to do enough this season. Second-year passer Zach Mettenberger is expected to play.

RELATED: Falcons vs. Titans – Full game preview

A win for the Falcons would put them at 6-1 and in serious contention for a playoff berth. While a loss wouldn’t be disastrous, it would close the gap with a big divisional game coming up next week followed by a tricky road trip to play the 49ers.

Devonta Freeman—who leads the NFL in rushing touchdowns with nine—should be leaned on against the No. 28 run defense. If he plays anywhere close to the level he has been in recent weeks, it could be a long day for the Titans.

New Orleans Saints (2-4) at Indianapolis Colts (3-3): Sunday at 1 p.m. EST

Oct 15, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) leads the who dat chant before a game against the Atlanta Falcons at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The Saints are trying to fight their way back into the playoff hunt, and a win over the Colts could do just that. Neither of these two teams can play defense but are both capable of putting up points.

New Orleans owns the league’s No. 31 defense, and Indianapolis isn’t much better at No. 29. New Orleans owns the No. 7 offense, and while Indianapolis is only good for No. 16, it’s worth noting quarterback Andrew Luck only returned last week from a shoulder injury.

With a healthy Luck, a solid run game and talent at receiver, the Colts have plenty of ways to hurt the struggling Saints defense. This one could become an offensive shootout and should be a lot of fun to watch.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-3) at Washington Redskins (2-4): Sunday at 1 p.m. EST

Washington has been a surprisingly solid team, defensively at least, despite the 2-4 start. A key will be to stop Buccaneers running back Doug Martin, and Washington has the defense able to do this. The problem for both teams comes with throwing the ball.

RELATED: Blogging Dirty staff predict NFC South games

Rookie quarterback Jameis Winston has made an up-and-down start to life in the NFL, which is what you can expect in his first season. A win for Tampa Bay would put them ahead of last season’s win total. Washington is surprisingly still very much in the NFC East hunt, so this game is of high importance.

Philadelphia Eagles (3-3) at Carolina Panthers (5-0): Sunday at 8:30 p.m. EST

The Eagles haven’t been the team we all expected, but they have managed to bounce back from an 0-2 start and sits atop the NFC East at 3-3. This will be a tough test for them, however, as they travel to Carolina to take on the team that just knocked off the back-to-back NFC Champions on the road.

Cam Newton has been nothing short of excellent this season and has put his team on his shoulders. It’s going to be a tough job for Chip Kelly and his team to get the road win, but doing so would put them in a strong position in the East. A win for the Panthers would put them 6-0 and in command of the division.

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