2017 NFC South Outlook

Posted: August 30, 2017 in NFL
Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons, NFC Champions in 2016, went 11-5 and won the division in Dan Quinn’s second year as head coach. Quinn will enter his third year with a 19-13 record in his first two years. The Falcons lost OC Kyle Shanahan to the 49ers. Steve Sarkisian, former offensive coordinator of the Alabama Crimson Tide, will replace Shanahan as the new offensive coordinator. Marquand Manuel will enter his third season as the defensive coordinator for the Falcons.

Prior Year DVOA Rankings (footballoutsiders.com)

Offense – 1st Overall, 6th Rushing, 1st Passing

Defense – 26th Overall, 28th Rushing, 18th Passing

Offseason Summary (walterfootball.com)

Departures: FB Patrick DiMarco, WR Aldrick Robinson, WR Eric Weems, TE Jacob Tamme, G Chris Chester, DE Dwight Freeney, DE Tyson Jackson, DT Jonathan Babineaux, OLB Sean Weatherspoon, ILB Paul Worrilow

Arrivals: FB Derrick Coleman, WR Andre Roberts, G Hugh Thornton, DE Jack Crawford, NT Dontari Poe

Top Draft Picks: DE Takkarist McKinley (UCLA, #26 overall), LB Duke Riley (LSU, #75 overall), G Sean Harlow (Oregon State, #136 overall)

Preseason Awards

MVP: Matt Ryan

Offensive Player of the Year: Julio Jones

Defensive Player of the Year: Desmond Trufant

Other Notable players: Devonta Freeman, Alex Mack, Keanu Neal, Vic Beasley, Grady Jarrett

Strongest position group: Offensive skill players

Weakest position group: Front seven

Carolina Panthers

The Panthers finished last season 6-10 and finished last place in the NFC South, one year removed from a Super Bowl loss. Ron Rivera will return for a seventh season with the Panthers. Mike Shula will enter his fifth season as offensive coordinator for the Panthers. Steve Wilks will replace Sean McDermott as defensive coordinator. Wilks served as secondary coach for the Panthers for the last five seasons.

Prior Year DVOA Rankings (footballoutsiders.com)

Offense – 25th Overall, 23rd Rushing, 24th Passing

Defense – 10th Overall, 9th Rushing, 11th Passing

Offseason Summary (walterfootball.com)

Departures: RB Mike Tolbert, RB Fozzy Whittaker, WR/KR Ted Ginn, WR Philly Brown, OT Mike Remmers, OT Michael Oher, DE Kony Ealy, NT Paul Soliai, ILB A.J. Klein, S Tre Boston

Arrivals: WR Charles Johnson, WR Russell Shepard, OT Matt Kalil, DE Julius Peppers, CB Captain Munnerlyn, S Mike Adams

Top Draft Picks: RB Christian McCaffery (Stanford, #8 overall), WR Curtis Samuel (Ohio State, #40 overall), G Taylor Moton (Western Michigan, #64 overall)

Preseason Awards

MVP: Cam Newton

Offensive Player of the Year: Greg Olsen

Defensive Player of the Year: Luke Kuechly

Other Notable players: Thomas Davis, Kawann Short, Shaq Thompson, Charles Johnson, Kelvin Benjamin

Strongest position group: Front seven

Weakest position group: Offensive skill players

New Orleans Saints

The Saints finished 7-9 for the third straight year and third in the NFC South. Sean Payton will enter his 11th season as head coach for the Saints. Pere Carmichael will be the Saints’ offensive coordinator for the eighth consecutive season. Dennis Allen will enter his third season as defensive coordinator for the Saints.

Prior Year DVOA Rankings (footballoutsiders.com)

Offense – 6th Overall, 3rd Rushing, 6th Passing

Defense – 31st Overall, 23rd Rushing, 30th Passing

Offseason Summary (walterfootball.com)

Departures: QB Luke McCown, RB Tim Hightower, WR Brandin Cooks, G Jahri Evans, G Tim Lelito, DE/OLB Paul Kruger, CB B.W. Webb, CB Kyle Wilson, S Jairus Byrd, S Roman Harper, S Jamarca Sanford, S Shiloh Keo

Arrivals: RB Adrian Peterson, WR/KR Ted Ginn, G Larry Warford, G Orlando Franklin, DE Alex Okafor, ILB Manti Te’o, ILB A.J. Klein

Top Draft Picks: CB Marson Lattimore (Ohio State, #11 overall), OT Ryan Ramczyk (Wisconsin, #32 overall), S Marcus Williams (Utah, #42 overall)

Preseason Awards

MVP: Drew Brees

Offensive Player of the Year: Michael Thomas

Defensive Player of the Year: Cameron Jordan

Other Notable players: Mark Ingram, Zach Strief, Kenny Vaccaro, Willie Snead

Strongest position group: Quarterback

Weakest position group: Secondary

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Buccaneers finished last season 9-7: their first winning season since 2010. Dirk Koetter will enter his second season as head coach of the Bucs after a very successful first season. Offensive coordinator Todd Monken and defensive coordinator Mike Smith will also enter their second seasons at their respective positions.

Prior Year DVOA Rankings (footballoutsiders.com)

Offense – 19th Overall, 30th Rushing, 12th Passing

Defense – 13th Overall, 26th Rushing, 6th Passing

Offseason Summary (walterfootball.com)

Departures: QB Mike Glennon, WR Vincent Jackson, OT Gosder Cherilus, DE Jacquies Smith, DT Akeem Spence, OLB Daryl Smith, CB Alterraun Verner, S Bradley McDougald

Arrivals: QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, WR DeSean Jackson, DT Chris Baker, S J.J. Wilcox, K Nick Folk

Top Draft Picks: TE O.J. Howard (Alabama, #19 overall), S Justin Evans (Texas A&M, #50 overall), WR Chirs Godwin (Penn State, #84 overall)

Preseason Awards

MVP: Jameis Winston

Offensive Player of the Year: Mike Evans

Defensive Player of the Year: Gerald McCoy

Other Notable players: DeSean Jackson, Doug Martin, Brent Grimes, Kwon Alexander, Chris Baker, Lavonte David

Strongest position group: Offensive skill players

Weakest position group: Secondary

NFC South Preseason Projections
Team Projected Record 90% Confidence Interval Odds to win Division
Falcons 10-6 6.5-9.5 13.9-2.1 66.5%
Panthers 8-8 5.6-10.4 12.3-3.7 16.9%
Saints 8-8 5.3-10.7 11.9-4.1 11.7%
Buccaneers 7-9 4.6-11.4 11.2-4.8 4.8%

 

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