Josh Frey’s NFL Standings Prediction: NFC South

Dec 19, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara (41) runs with the ball as Tampa Bay Buccaneers outside linebacker Joe Tryon-Shoyinka (9) defends during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Can you feel it? The NFL regular season is extremely close, and we’re on the back-half of the NFL standings predictions. This is one of the more contentious divisions in the NFL with uncertainty surrounding the top teams for a multitude of reasons. You can find all the other division predictions here:

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1. New Orleans Saints (12-5)

Jul 29, 2022; Metairie, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara (41) and running back Mark Ingram II (5) looks on during training camp at Ochsner Sports Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints lost a couple players in the secondary this offseason, but it’s possible that they actually upgraded from CJ Gardner-Johnson and Marcus Williams by bringing in Tyrann Mathieu and Marcus Maye. They also bring back Alvin Kamara, Michael Thomas, and Jameis Winston to the offense. As long as Winston plays like he did for the first seven games of the regular season, New Orleans will reclaim their NFC South crown.

2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (11-6)

Aug 27, 2022; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) runs onto the field before the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

For the first time in the Tom Brady tenure, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a first-place schedule. 2022 has been one of the strangest offseasons in NFL history for this team and having to go into the year with the Saints and Packers on their early schedule could put them behind the 8-ball. They’ll still make the playoffs, but losses to New Orleans will cost them the NFC South.

3. Carolina Panthers (7-10)

Aug 19, 2022; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) exits the field after the game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Baker Mayfield is not a world-stopper as a quarterback, but his level of play should keep the Panthers in games this season. On top of that, this team has quietly put together a solid defense in recent years. As long as Christian McCaffrey stays healthy, they’ll be a decent squad.

4. Atlanta Falcons (3-14)

Dec 26, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Falcons tight end Kyle Pitts (8) catches a pass behind Detroit Lions cornerback Ifeatu Melifonwu (26) during the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Spoiler alert, the Atlanta Falcons are my choice to end up with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. They’ve finally committed to the rebuild after trading away Matt Ryan to the Colts, and Calvin Ridley will miss the entire season while serving his gambling suspension (#FreeCalvinRidley). This team might have a few exciting plays on offense, but their defense has some major holes.




Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing as well as minors in History, Human Biology, and Journalism. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh can often be found training for a marathon, playing video games, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. For more of his takes, NFL and otherwise, check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken