This division may contain the two best teams in the NFC, the Saints and the Falcons.
New Orleans (3-1)
The Saints, who are coming off their inspiring Super Bowl victory, have shown some rust, but not enough to prevent them from a 3-1 record. All four of their games have been decided by four points or less, which is a concern for a Super Bowl team that had many dominating victories when they started last season 13-0.
Standout Players: Drew Brees, Sedrick Ellis
The Falcons have been the most impressive team in the NFC. Going into the Superdome against their rival Saints, and coming away with a victory is very impressive, and their lone loss to Pittsburg is of little concern considering the Steelers’ championship caliber defense and the offensive rust that many teams experience in their first couple games.
Standout Players: Matt Ryan, Roddy White, John Abraham
Tampa Bay (2-1)
The Bucs have to be feeling pretty good after the first quarter of the season, with their lone loss being against the Steelers. Their two wins, however, have been against the Panthers and Browns, two of the weaker teams in the NFL. Tampa Bay has shown that they have made significant improvements over last season; however it is unlikely they will be a contender for the playoffs as the season progresses.
Standout Players: Mike Williams, Ronde Barber
The Panthers are one of the few teams in the NFC who have no shot at the playoffs. The Matt Moore experiment at QB is over, ushering in the future with 2nd round pick Jimmy Clausen. The running game led by dynamic duo DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart have been struggling, as opponents are cheating by overly defending against the run, knowing the Panthers have very poor passing attack.
Standout Players: DeAngelo Williams, Charles Godfrey
Prediction: Atlanta rides a fairly easy schedule to the top of the division, while New Orleans is right behind them, scooping up one of the two wildcard spots.