Shift in the NFC South
The Atlanta Falcons have not had a say in who wins the NFC South since 2016.
The Falcons defense is the biggest issue but long-time NFL defensive coordinator Dean Pees is hoping that he can mold a defense around the few young and talented pieces on that side of the ball.
While the current Super Bowl champions hail from the division, they didn’t win the division in 2020, the New Orleans Saints won the division again before choking in the playoffs.
The Bucs do return all 22 starters from their Super Bowl and will certainly play much better football early on than they did a year ago as they were just getting acclimated but the Falcons played them tough at Mercedes Benz Stadium and I suspect that will be the case again.
Drew Brees has retired and Saints head coach Sean Payton will officially turn over the keys to his high potent offense to either Jameis Winston or Taysom Hill.
Winston throws for a high volume of yards but also turns the ball over a lot. Hill is one of the most overrated players in the NFL but the Saints fan base swears he is an elite starting quarterback – though his stats say something else.
The Carolina Panthers are year two into the Matt Rhule and Joe Brady experience and believe that they have a better quarterback than in year one as they were able to trade for a former first-round pick, Sam Darnold.
Brady seems to be a quarterback whisperer and is hoping to help Darnold like he did Joe Burrow two years ago at LSU where Burrow went from mediocre college starter to superstar under his coaching.
The Panthers are also hoping that running back Christian McCaffrey is back and able to be healthy in 2021.
If Pees can just get the Falcons defense to be among the average NFL defense in 2021, the Falcons will win 10 games and compete for the division title.