Another week of the 2019 NFL season is in the books as far as the NFC South is concerned. And to be completely honest not much has changed from prior weeks. Week 7 saw much of the same from this division minus two teams on their bye week, Carolina and Tampa Bay.
The Falcons Are As Bad As Advertised
Where to begin here? The Atlanta Falcons came into Week 7 with hopes for a big win at home against reigning NFC Champions Los Angeles Rams. If you’ve paid much attention to the Atlanta Falcons’ 2019 campaign, you’ll understand that their hopes were very limited. Sunday’s matchup with the Rams started out very slow for Atlanta. They moved the ball from their own 33 to the Rams 34. With the assistance of two penalties, the Falcons were able to kick a field goal for what would be their only lead/points until the end of the fourth quarter.
You have to start to question whether or not head coach Dan Quinn has lost the locker room at this point. After finishing second in the division last year. The Falcons are now staring down the basement of the NFC South, sitting at 1-5 on the season. Even with Quinn taking over the defensive playcalling, the Falcons continue to be at the very bottom of the NFL ranks on defense.
There seems to be some familiarity with this Falcons team on offense. They rank seventh in total yards yet 16th in scoring. Dirk Koetter anyone? The frustration seems to be more noticeable after Sunday’s loss when running back Devonta Freeman was ejected for fighting. Not to mention the mere look of defeat on star wideout Julio Jones’ face.
How does this tie to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers? If the football gods are gracious to Tampa Bay, then you should be able to circle the two games against Atlanta as wins. Not to mention that quarterback Matt Ryan left the game at the beginning of the fourth quarter with an injury. There seems to be no spark on this Atlanta team. The Buccaneers will need to pounce at the chance to add two wins in the division in November and December.
Dan Quinn’s time as the Falcons head coach seems to be nearing its end. This leaves me with the question. If he were to be let go during the season, who takes over as interim coach? As one of the mainstream media members of Tampa Bay pointed out Sunday evening. The Falcons have a few former head coaches already on their staff, but who would Arthur Blank put in charge?
And The Saints Keep Marching Along
Drew Brees who? Teddy Bridgewater has hushed the doubters as he assisted the Saints to a victory on Sunday against the Chicago Bears. Is there a better and complete team in the NFC not named the Green Bay Packers? The Saints have kept things rolling with Bridgewater under center. That has to be a scary sight for the NFCSouth and the NFC as a whole.
Sunday seemed to be a very balanced game for the Saints as they had both a 100-yard rusher and a hundred-yard receiver. 38 passing attempts to 35 rushing attempts are just about as good as it gets in the football world. This is what makes this Saints team so complete. Their ability to beat you in the air and the ground has shown up more often than not this season. Forget about the game against Tampa. Tampa Bay has one of the top-ranked run defenses in the NFL; those passing numbers are way higher due to their complete lack of a passing defense.
If the Buccaneers can somehow steal their last game against the Saints in November then they might be playing some significant games in late November/December. That is if they can grab a few more road wins. Keep in mind that Drew Brees is set to return in the coming weeks which makes this Saints team even more worrisome.
What To Look Forward To
Week 8 will be a great week for the Buccaneers to start putting some wins together as the Panthers will take on the undefeated San Francisco 49ers. This could be a loss for the Panthers as the 49ers seem to be finding ways to win games. Atlanta will take on Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks at home after the Seahawks loss to the Baltimore Ravens. The Saints will take on the Arizona Cardinals before their bye week to close out the first half of the season.
We’re almost to the midpoint of the season and the Buccaneers will need to start winning and hope for some help from Carolina to propel them up in the division standings if they want to play significant games at the end of the year.