Josh Frey’s NFL Standings Prediction: NFC South
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)
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)
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)
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)
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