The Falcons and the NFC South

Since its inception in 2002, the NFC South has yet to have a back-to-back division champion.

The Atlanta Falcons could very well be the first team in the division to achieve that feat, however.

There’s no question the Falcons boast one of the best offenses in the league. The addition of an extremely capable running back in Steven Jackson combined with an already deadly passing offense led by Matt Ryan means the Falcons will pose a lot of problems for opposing defenses.

The Falcons problems lie on the defensive side of the ball. And really, the team poised to stand in the way of the Falcons winning the division crown for the second year in the row is the New Orleans Saints. Like the Falcons, they have issues on defense.

As it stands now, the Carolina Panthers nor the Tampa Bay Buccaneers don’t appear ready to put up a fight for the division. I understand I’m discounting them, but I’m looking at their respective quarterbacks. Although Cam Newton played well the latter part of the season, he’s yet to show he’s there mentally. For the Panthers to pose a threat, he needs to step up.

Bucs head coach Greg Schiano reportedly isn’t sold on Josh Freeman. And he shouldn’t be. The quarterback had a scorching start to the season, including a five-week stretch in he passed for 13 touchdowns and just one interception. However, he then fizzled out after and went Weeks 12-17 by passing for just six touchdowns to 10 interceptions.

With those two teams eliminated from the race, the Falcons have to worry about the Saints who will be getting head coach Sean Payton back after he was suspended for his role in the bounty program.

The road to another division crown will be tough. The Falcons’ schedule will be considerably more difficult this year. However, if there’s a year for a team to finally get consecutive division championships, it’s this year.

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