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NFL Pro Football 2015 NFC South Preview

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Fearless Rick's NFL Preview - NFC South

Rick Gagliano | July 29, 2015

NFC South

Atlanta Falcons

2014 Record: 6-10

2015 Expected Finish: 10-6

The Good: AtlantaŐs offense, which finished 12th overall (23.8 ppg), should be better this season with any kind of running game. The Falcons were 24th in rushing yards per game in 2014, checking in at a paltry 93.6.

The Bad: The defense of the Falcons left much to be desired in 2014, often losing games in which the offense had given them leads. The Falcons were 27th in scoring defense, allowing 26.1 points per game.

Outlook: Atlanta was wise to pick OLB Vic Beasley (Clemson) in the first round of the draft (8th pick overall) and also grabbed LSUŐs Jalen Collins in the second round, who may start at one corner position. If AtlantaŐs defense improves - and they should - and they get back to a decent running game, the Falcons will be a formidable opponent in the wide open NFC South.

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New Orleans Saints

2014 Record: 7-9

2015 Expected Finish: 9-7

The Good: The Saints were competitive in 2014, despite not reaching the playoffs. Drew Brees is back and heŐs still one of the best in the game.

The Bad: New OrleansŐ defense was raunchy in 2014. They allowed 26.5 ppg, and were 29th in points allowed. The Saints allowed 30 or more points in five of their losses.

Outlook: The defense isnŐt going to be reborn overnight, but Brees and the offense will keep the Saints in plenty of games, because they know how to score points. The question is, how many will they need?

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Carolina Panthers

2014 Record: 7-8-1

2015 Expected Finish: 8-8

The Good: Won the division in 2014. Won a wild card game against Arizona, 27-16. Had one of the leagueŐs best defenses in the final four weeks and they won all four games.

The Bad: Won the division with a 7-8-1 record and were bounced from the playoffs in the divisional round by Seattle, 31-17. Cam Newton could not find many holes in the Seahawks defense. Overall, CarolinaŐs defense was 21st in scoring, allowing 23.4 points per game.

Outlook: Despite winning the division with a four-game run at the end of the season, the Panthers once again have the look of a limited bunch, with a stop-and-go offense and a defense which experienced too many lapses in 2014.

Carolina could challenge for the division again, but New Orleans and Atlanta re likely to be better, making the Panthers the odd team out.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

2014 Record: 2-14

2015 Expected Finish: 4-12

The Good: Tampa BayŐs defense was actually better than most of other cellar-dwellers.

The Bad: Their offense just doesnŐt click. They scored just 17.3 ppg last season, good for 29th overall.

Outlook: In all likelihood, the Buccaneers need a few years to even get to .500. This year will not be it, though they could surprise a couple of teams, even in their own division. DonŐt hold out too much hope, though, because this season isnŐt going to be a great one.

Copyright 2015, 2016, Rick Gagliano, Downtown Magazine. All rights reserved. Downtown Magazine is located in the Uinted States of America and is not affiliated with the National Football League or the NCAA. For more information, contact us here. Use of this site is for entertainment purposes only.



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