Tha Sports Junkies 101

2016 NFC South Projected Order Of Finish

Jack Kurzenknabe via Flickr


Atlanta Falcons

Record for 2015: 8-8 (2nd in NFC South)

Major Addition: WR Mohamed Sanu (Bengals)

Major Loss: WR Roddy White (Released)


Analysis: While the Falcons are coming off a season that started 5-0, including a win against the NFC Champions the Carolina Panthers, this team lacks on Defense. Quarterback Matt Ryan has many weapons on offense readily available, including Mohamed Sanu, and Julio Jones. This team excels on offense but has many issues on defense. RB Devonta Freeman was injured during week 12 of last season, but there is an opportunity for him to excel during 2016 and is a player to watch.

Projection for 2016-2017: The Falcons will continue the cycle of mediocrity next season. Their strength of schedule is ranked number one in difficulty. Along with the treacherous schedule, the Falcons also have to consider that they lost their number two receiver Roddy White and had a defense that is nothing special. This team needs to focus on protecting QB Matt Ryan and adding more depth to a defense that has to face some of the most powerful offenses in the NFL.

Projected record: 10-6


New Orleans Saints

Record for 2015: 7-9 (3rd in NFC South)

Major Additions: LB  James Laurinaitis (Rams)

Major Losses: DE Akiem Hicks (Patriots)

Analysis: Last season, defense was an area of an issue for the Saints. The Saints allowed the most points on defense (29.2) in the league last season.  The Saints also are struggling on offense as well, moving forward Drew Brees is becoming more questionable as a choice for the Saints, as he is becoming older. But they did have two very close games with the Carolina Panthers, losing by 9 points combined.

Prediction for 2016: The Saints have a promising chance at the 2016 season. New defensive coordinator Dennis Allen has gotten the opportunity to improve on a Saints defense that has been struggling ever since the bounty scandals. If this team can keep healthy on offense, there are a good odds that there will be more prosperity next season.

Projected record: 6-10


Carolina Panthers

Record for 2015: 15-1 (First in NFC South)

Major Additions: WR Kelvin Benjamin (Active from IR)

Major Losses: CB Josh Norman (Redskins)

Analysis: Last season was quite a whirlwind for this team. The Panthers lost to the Broncos in the Super Bowl, a good season but as any coach will say, not the one hoped for. Led by MVP QB Cam Newton this team was supercharged on defense and offense, the only games they seemed to falter in, were, of course, the Superbowl and the last game of the season against the Falcons (After they clinched a first round BYE and home.) The Panthers set the franchise record for longest winning streak and best start. With WR Kelvin Benjamin coming back from his ACL injury, it will be interesting to see how Newton will utilize another weapon.

Prediction for 2016: This Panthers team should continue to roll into next season. Quarterback Newton has been declared as the overall best player in the league according to preseason rankings. If the offensive line, and Newton can remain healthy, it is clear that this team will be a contender to return to another Super Bowl.

Projected record : 12-4


Tampa Bay Bucaneers

Record for 2015: 6-10 (4th in NFC South)

Major Additions: CB Vernon Hargreaves

Major Losses: S Chris Conte (IR)

Analysis: The Bucs are commonly known as that team that on paper doesn’t look too bad. Unfortunately last season, like most were a struggle for this team. But there were some high points, such as RB Doug Martin, who came off 1,402 yards and six touchdowns. QB Jameis Winston had a good rookie season but was less productive in his second year.

Prediction for 2016: This team has a lot of potential, especially now that they have a new coaching staff in place. Winston and his receiving corps are ranked as one of the best in the league with Vincent Jackson, and Mike Evans. If Martin can have another impressive year at RB and if the defense can continue to build, this team might possibly be a contender soon.


Projected record: 8-8