2022 NFC South Division Preview

by Scott Rickenbach

NFC South Division Win Total / Preview for 2022 NFL

Atlanta Falcons – Current odds are 5 with heavy juice on the under. Hard to peg this team. This article is not necessarily about projecting win totals but more so just a quick preview of each team. That said, the Falcons do look to be the worst team in the division and the fact their win total is actually quite likely to end up in the 4 to 5 range makes this one a tough call. Falcons seem to be in a rebuild mode with the QB situation as now they turn things over to Marcus Mariota and his back-up is rookie Desmond Ridder. Atlanta not known for strong offensive lines and Mariota has been injury prone. That coupled with a bad defense and it is going to be a rough season for Falcons fans as wins will be few and far between. 

Carolina Panthers – Current odds are 6.5 flat. The scoring defense of the Panthers last season looks not so hot but the yardage allowed actually placed them as one of the top defenses in the league. It was the offense that was a problem for Carolina last season. Will this continue to be the case this season and this team would be a good one to look at for unders on a regular basis? Getting running back McCaffrey back will help the offense but the QB position is still a question mark even with Baker Mayfield entering the picture. If he is a pleasant surprise than yes things could change but that is a big “if” because he is not exactly walking into a great situation with the offense around him and working with a new playbook on offense and not exactly a ton of WR talent. Carolina started last year 3-0 then went 2-12 the rest of the way. 

New Orleans Saints – Current odds are 8 with heavy juice on the over. I like the Saints as good enough to threaten the Bucs for the top spot in the division. Jameis Winston needs to stay healthy but people forget he had 14 TDs and only 3 INTs before he got hurt last season. Also, WR Michael Thomas is back and has looked strong in camp already. New Orleans is very strong defensively and former defensive coordinator Dennis Allen is now the head coach and I expect continued success on that side of the ball. The Saints did beat the Buccaneers in both meetings last season and this team, if Winston stays healthy, can have a huge year. If Winston gets hurt and back-up QB Andy Dalton pulls some magic from the past that would also lead to a big season. Remember Dalton was solid with a 14-8 TD-INT ratio in Dallas two years ago before playing on a bad Bears team last season. 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Current odds are 11.5 with some juice on the under. I am leaning toward under here on Bucs and over on the Saints above as you can see. The Buccaneers lost head coach Arians and long-time Brady target Gronkowski to retirement. So even though Brady is back things look a little different in Tampa Bay heading into this season. Also some changes to the offensive line in front of Brady but the defense does still look solid again. I know new head coach Todd Bowles has been the defensive coordinator in TB the last 3 seasons so he has that going for him. But his last 3 seasons as a head coach, of course with lesser talent on the Jets, he compiled a 14-34 record! Again, much better team to work with here and a solid defense but some of the changes on the offense and the fact Tom Brady is now 45…I really believe this is the year we start to see a significant regression in Tampa. 

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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