The Panthers have added serious talent to the secondary.
The NFL season is roughly a fourth of the way over (thanks, added week, for throwing off the fraction), and the Atlanta Falcons are sitting at the bottom of the division.
That’s to be expected since it doesn’t look like the team is a division challenger right now, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Carolina Panthers sitting at 3-1 and the New Orleans Saints at 2-2 and coming off a fluky loss to the New York Giants.
Let’s survey how the rivals are doing right now at the kind of quarter pole.
The Panthers continue to see quarterback Sam Darnold execute Joe Brady’s offense with eerie accuracy and use his legs to unexpectedly thrash end zone defenses every week. He’s leading the league in rushing touchdowns, which is what we all expected (spoiler: it is not).
The team, though, couldn’t maintain pace with the upstart Dallas Cowboys, who are one of the best teams in the NFC right now. They lost 36-28 to Dallas on the road, which sets them to 3-1.
Though, just Wednesday, the team flipped over a 2023 sixth-round pick to the New England Patriots for All-Pro cornerback Stephon Gilmore to help balance the loss of CB Jaycee Horn to season-ending surgery. The team already added C.J. Henderson to the fold and are being aggressive to maintain stability in their unexpected start. The Panthers will be a problem this year if Darnold and this defense keep playing like this.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Tom Brady Bucs beat the New England Patriots in the hotly anticipated “This Game Really Isn’t That Interesting in the Grand Scheme of Things” Bowl, with Brady getting the best of his old team at the last minute.
The Bucs are good and now have CB Richard Sherman in the fold. They’ll keep being good as long as Brady is playing like his old self or until his sacrificial offerings to the Gods of Football become displeasing to them and they zap his power away.
New Orleans Saints
The Saints lost in overtime to the New York Giants, which we should all relentlessly laugh at them for because even our sorry asses beat the freaking Giants.
That’s the NFC South for you this week! We’ll see how things progress into Week 5.