Is it too early to start discussing Super Bowl 52 matchups? Even so, it’s never a bad time to preview our Atlanta Falcons NFL predictions on where they will end up this season compared to last year.
The NFC South hasn’t been getting the respect it deserves, despite having two teams represent the NFC in the past two Super Bowls. This year, the division is expected to be one of the toughest in the league with the Carolina Panthers expected to bounce back from a disappointing season and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers expected to improve from a nine-win season.
Who will come out on top of the NFC South?
The Falcons blew an opportunity to win the Super Bowl, but the core of the team remains intact, so they are expected to once again be one of the best teams in the league. Atlanta is projected to win 9.5 games, but I think they will struggle this year because they have one of the toughest schedules in the league going into Superbowl 2018.
Cam Newton will have a new weapon in Christian McCaffery, who is already drawing rave reviews in training camp. The Panthers offensive line is still a question mark, especially after the team released Michael Oher because of concussion symptoms. However, if they can play well enough to give Newton time to throw the ball, the offense will be fine.
Carolina is projected to win 8.5 games this season, and will likely win more because their defense is still one of the best in the NFL.
New Orleans Saints
The Saints have finished 7-9 for three consecutive seasons, but expectations are high this year because the team brought in Adrian Peterson during the offseason. With Peterson in the backfield, New Orleans offense is expected to be better than it was, which is a scary thought for their opponents. However, their defense hasn’t been very good in recent years and is likely going to be a liability again this year.
The Saints are projected to win eight games, which I think is very possible, but I don’t see them winning more than nine games.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bucs are a very talented young team, and the addition of Desean Jackson should make the offense even better. Defensively, Tampa Bay still has a lot of work to do, but as long as they avoid the mistakes that cost them games last year, they should compete for the division crown.
The Bucs are projected to win 8.5 games this year but I think they will surprise the rest of the league and win the NFC South.