How the South will be won? That’s a great question for NFL fans in 2012, with the Saints, Panthers, Bucs and Falcons. There’s plenty of questions about this foursome, and today we will go into it with who will take home the South, and if anyone is going to get in as a wild card team.
1. Atlanta Falcons (12-4) – Mike Smith needs to finally get this team to play like they can. They have an offense with Roddy White and Julio Jones at the wide out spots, with Matt Ryan leading the way at the QB spot. Michael Turner needs to have a big season for this club, and the defense needs to get better than last year when they were run out of the NFC Wild Card game in New Jersey by the Giants. This is the year this team gets it all together.
2. * Carolina Panthers (10-6) – Yes, I am calling for the upset, with the Panthers winning 10 games in Ron Rivera’s second-year as the Panthers head coach. Cam Newton is already a star, and he has been working hard to get even better in season two. The defense is going to take a leap, and last season this team was in a lot of games, and this year they are going to finish the job. Look for Carolina to take one of the biggest leaps forward in 2012.
3. New Orleans (8-8) – Sorry Saints fans, it’s going to be a long season in the Big Easy. Sure Drew Brees will be his old self, but this offseason has been a nightmare for the Saints, and without their head coach, this team doesn’t stand a shot at winning this division. The defense is going to have a tough time stopping teams, and that showed last season in their divisional playoff loss to the 49ers. The Saints will be in recovery mode all season for a tough offseason, and it’s going to translate to a .500 season.
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-11) – New sideline boss Greg Schiano is a lot different from Raheem Morris, and it’s going to take time for him to get this team turned around after an awful 2011. All-Pro guard Carl Nicks, wide receiver Vincent Jackson, cornerback Eric Wright and tight end Dallas Clark have all joined the team, but the defense is a work in progress, and even if Josh Freeman has a solid season, which he will, it will be a long season down by the Bay.