Anyway that you shake it, the NFC South looks stacked on paper, and in the right scenario all four teams have an opportunity to be competitive
The NFC South has three NFL MVPs, three conference champions, two Super Bowl Champions, two Super Bowl MVPs, and a quarterback who was destined for great things before suffering an almost career ending injury, who's now ready to try and return back to his previous form. It doesn't matter if you're not a fan for the Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, or the New Orleans Saints, football fans everywhere should be locked into the NFC South this season.
It almost sounds like the start to a bad joke, Teddy Bridgewater, Matt Ryan, Tom Brady, and Drew Brees all walk into a bar… The talent in the NFC South has sort of been lost in storylines that were really dominated by Brady leaving the New England Patriots after twenty seasons. But now that interviews on Howard Stern are over, and the media seems to be moving on from the story a little bit, it’s time for football fans to start getting excited about some of the explosive magic that we are going to be privileged to watch this season.
The Falcons had an awful 2019 season, and they lost some key players in free agency including Austin Hooper, but anytime you have Matt Ryan and Julio Jones on the field there’s always the chance for magic. The same can be said in Carolina. The Panthers may be the biggest wildcard in the South, the Panthers have moved on from Cam Newton and signed Teddy Bridgewater. Bridgewater played five games for the Saints last season when Bree’s was out with a thumb injury, and ended up going 5-0 during that stretch. That’s not saying Bridgewater is going to around the Panther fortunes for sure, but having some consistency in Carolina could very well be everything the Panthers needed.
Tom Brady was the marquee free agent this offseason, and now he’s ready to make his NFC South debut with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I have gone up and down every roster that the six time Super Bowl champion had ever played with, and Bill Belichick never gave him offensive weapons like Brady’s going to have this season. Tie Bruce Arians as a bit of a quarterback guru, and Brady’s ability to throw to guys like Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Scotty Miller, and OJ Howard, you just feel the 43-year-old quarterback is going to look a lot younger. Brady says that he still has a lot to prove to himself, and he has the weapons to prove something.
The Saints are the Saints, and even with Brady entering the South, you still feel like it’s their division to lose. The offense is still stacked, Brees is still playing at high levels, Sean Payton is still the coach, and the defense is pretty solid. With that being said, it’s not lost on Brees how good the division is this season.
Brees will battle Brady twice during the upcoming regular season, and it should make the Saints' quest to win their fourth straight NFC South crown that much more difficult.
"Yeah, well, the division just got a little bit better, didn't it?" Brees said Wednesday on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," according to Nick Shook of NFL.com. “And in addition to that, Teddy Bridgewater - who played so well for us with the Saints last year when I got hurt - he's now the starting quarterback for the Carolina Panthers. So our division has Teddy Bridgewater, Tom Brady, (Atlanta Falcons quarterback) Matt Ryan, and myself with the Saints. It's always been a challenging division and it just kicked up a notch."
Anyway that you shake it, the NFC South looks stacked on paper, and in the right scenario all four teams have an opportunity to be competitive, and for teams like the Falcons and the Panthers, with a little bit of good fortune they could shock the world and find themselves at the top of the division. In order to win the Super Bowl you first have to take care of your own division. The Saints, Falcons, and Panthers have all won the NFC South in the last five seasons, and Tampa Bay is hoping Brady can get them to the top. Taking care of you division will be very difficult for all the three teams, but as a neutral observer, I can’t wait.