NFC South Week 10 preview: Will the Carolina Panthers stay undefeated?


The Atlanta Falcons are on bye this week, but there is plenty of important NFC South action going on. The undefeated Carolina Panthers hit the road to take on the Tennessee Titans, who stunned the New Orleans Saints last week. The Panthers must avoid a slip-up to improve to 9-0 on the season. Let’s take a look.

Carolina Panthers (8-0) at Tennessee Titans (2-6): Sunday at 1:00 p.m. EST

Entering December last season, the Carolina Panthers were 3-8-1. Since being blown out by the Minnesota Vikings on November 30 last fall, the Panthers have won all 12 of their regular season games. It’s an incredible run that has them not only set up for a third straight NFC South crown, but also the conference’s top seed.

READ MORE: Blogging Dirty staff predict Week 10 games

Many were unimpressed due to the teams Carolina has beaten, but they now have victories on the road to Seattle and at home to Green Bay. It doesn’t get much tougher than that. Yet these Panthers have made it look easy at times, led by the unique style of quarterback Cam Newton.

The Panthers are strongly favored to beat the 2-6 Titans, even on the road. But most people didn’t expect Tennessee to be able to keep up with the Saints last week on the road, but they not only kept up – they won. With rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota back from injury, Tennessee has a chance.

Dallas Cowboys (2-6) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-5): Sunday at 1:00 p.m. EST

Nov 8, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) during the second half against the New York Giants at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

If you were to predict the outcome of this game back in August, not many would have picked the Buccaneers. But a lot has happened since then, no less the injuries to Tony Romo and Dez Bryant. Bryant is back from a broken foot, but the lack of Romo at quarterback has really hurt these Cowboys; they have lost six straight since he broke his collarbone. 

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The good news is Romo is eligible to return next week against Miami. The bad news is they could lose a seventh game on the season with defeat to Tampa Bay, which would all but rule out any postseason hopes. Romo would likely need to run the table when he returns, and even that may not be enough.

That’s how important this game is for the Cowboys. With victory and a 3-6 record with Romo returning next week, there will be a glimmer of hope. The Giants lead the NFC East at 5-4, so they would be no worse than three games out. This is going to be an intriguing contest.

New Orleans Saints (4-5) at Washington Redskins (3-5): Sunday at 1:00 p.m. EST

The New Orleans Saints were riding a hot streak into a home game with the Titans last week. Drew Brees had thrown eight touchdowns in his previous two games, and he would throw for another three against Tennessee.

Unfortunately for the Saints, rookie Marcus Mariota threw four of his own, including a walk-off strike to tight end Anthony Fasano. The loss could have ended any slim hopes of playoffs the Saints had after three consecutive wins, but they will be aiming to reach .500 with a win over a stubborn Washington team.