The NFC South, not usually thought of as a power division, not only has represented the NFC in the Super Bowl each of the past two seasons, with Carolina (2015 season) and Atlanta (2016), but since 2002 it’s the only division to have all four of its teams make the Super Bowl. The 2002 Buccaneers and 2009 Saints won the Super Bowl.
A look at the three teams’ remaining schedules shows the Falcons, who play Tampa Bay on Sunday, with the toughest road. Their opponents have a combined record of 39-21. That’s the bad news. The good news is the next three are at home.
The Panthers’ opponents are 35-25, but quarterback Cam Newton is playing his best football of the season.
The Giants offense has had some serious problems scoring points dating back to last season, and those problems continued against the Cowboys. Dating back to Week 13 of last year, the Giants haven’t cracked the 20-point mark a single time, which is a span of seven games including the playoffs and this year’s season opener.
The root of the turnaround on defense can be traced directly to the rebuilt secondary — which includes first-round draft pick, cornerback Marshon Lattimore, and second-round pick, safety Marcus Williams. Since Week 2, the Saints have held opponents to the lowest passer rating in the league (53.6), a vast improvement from the 141.4 rating they allowed in the first two games.
If they can keep it going through Sunday against the Bears, who have won two straight to move to 3-4, the Saints, who are allowing 22.2 points per game, will match their longest winning streak since they began the 2013 season 5-0.
According to ESPN, in the Saints’ first 11 seasons with Brees (2006-16), they’ve had five years in which they allowed fewer than 24 points per game and were 58-22 with a Super Bowl title. In the other six seasons, when they allowed 24 or more points per game, they went 43-53.