NFC South – Week 10 preview

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor AFC North and NFC South

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8 

Week 10 is here and – WOW – it’s been a weird season for the NFC South!

Quarterback issues…. coaching issues…. injury issues… you name it, they’ve seen it.

Now that the teams have all had their Bye Week, the rest of the season is going to break down into two battles: First Place in the Division or Top Five Pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

This week brings us a division match-up between the New Orleans Saints and the Atlanta Falcons which will impact both of those battles!

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Franchise QBs on their way out? The quarterback carousel begins early.

Lisa Johnson
AFC South AFC East Reporter

By Lisa Johnson // @LJ1303 

We are at the mid-season mark and already we have teams talking about moving on from their supposed franchise quarterbacks.

Let’s take a look at who may be leaving their quarterbacks behind.

Carolina Panthers placed Cam Newton on season-ending injured reserve this week, leaving many to question if we will ever see Newton in a Panthers uniform again., especially since they have quarterback Kyle Allen, an undrafted free agent who has played well for Carolina in relief of Newton. He has completed 60.7 % of his passes for 1,291 yards with nine touchdowns and four interceptions in six games.

The Panthers have gone 5-1 in the games in which Allen has started.

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Will the week 7 “bye” hurt or heal these teams?

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor AFC North and NFC South

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8 

The “Bye Week” couldn’t come soon enough for the Carolina PanthersCleveland BrownsPittsburgh Steelers, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

All four of these teams need this break to heal and regroup. What’s interesting to me, is the startling similarities between these four teams.

Two from the AFC North and two from the NFC South. Two struggling with first-year head coaches and sub-par quarterback play, while the other two are dealing with injuries that have taken out their starting QB and left their entire offenses struggling.

But I wonder… will this “Bye” week hurt or heal these teams?

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NFC South: First Quarter Review

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor AFC North and NFC South

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8 

The first quarter – four weeks – of the 2019 NFL season is in the book and the NFC South division is wide open.

Leading the way at 3-1, the New Orleans Saints might be heavily favored to keep the top spot, but the injury to quarterback Drew Brees leading to Teddy Bridgewater under center doesn’t make that a sure thing. Tied for second place at 2-2 are the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Cam Newton-less Carolina Panthers.

That leaves the Atlanta Falcons in last place at 1-3 which may be one of the biggest surprises at this point of the season.

Let’s take a close look at Week 4.

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NFC West week 4 in review: A crazy game in LA, a needed win, and a bye week

Dayna O’Gorman
Senior NFL Reporter
AFC and NFC West

By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG

The San Francisco 49ers are the lone remaining undefeated team in the NFC, and they stayed undefeated by staying home. It was the dreaded week 4 bye for the 49ers, but it worked out well for them. They headed into their week off on top of the division, and are still sitting there and the end of it.

While San Francisco didn’t have to do anything to stay in their top spot, the rest of the NFC West played what turned out to be important games in week 4. An inter-division match up in the desert between the Seattle Seahawks and the Arizona Cardinals, and what many thought would be an easy win in Los Angeles for the Rams…that turned into a slugfest.

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NFC South: preseason week 3

 

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor AFC North and NFC South

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8 

Week 3 of the NFL Preseason may just be an indication of how the entire season will finish up in the NFC South.

The New Orleans Saints had a commanding victory, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers squeaked one out with a game-winning field goal and both the Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers struggled to find any offense at all.

Panthers QB Cam Newton suffered a foot injury and while x-rays have come back negative, seeing him in a walking boot has to put quite a bit of fear into the hearts of Carolina fans!

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The Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers hold joint practice

Lisa Johnson
Senior NFL Reporter

By Lisa Johnson //@LJ1303

Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers started their second day of joint practices under dark and ominous skies. After several runs back and forth, indoor then out, fans and media were eventually sent indoor permanently due to lightning in the area. As both squads moved into their routine drills, several things stood out.

The Dolphins quarterback battle continued. Josh Rosen took the majority of the snaps with the first team, while Ryan Fitzpatrick worked the day with the second team. Both seemed to have their struggles as the Dolphins continue to try to fill in some serious holes on that offensive line.

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The Importance of a Number in the NFL

 

Dayna O’Gorman
Senior NFL Reporter

By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG

New Carolina Panthers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy isn’t happy with his old team. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers gave his number, 93, away. And to not just some random rookie, but to Ndamukong Suh, his replacement. McCoy didn’t take it well.

“As far as signing him, organizations have to do what they have to do when you let a player of my caliber go, so I understand that,” McCoy said. “But as far as giving away my number, in the history of the Bucs, they have a ring of honor, and all of the greatest players in the organization usually get their numbers retired.”

“Them giving the number away, that’s their prerogative, but the respect they showed. It would be different if it was a guy who signed four or five years. This is a one-year deal … I mean, it may seem like it’s just a number, but it’s bigger than that. It’s respect, and that was a big part of the separation between me and Tampa, period, was the respect they showed to me all offseason, it just wasn’t there.”

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Doomed first year head coaches?

Lisa Johnson
Senior NFL Reporter

By Lisa Johnson // @LJ1303

As we prepare for the new 2019 NFL season, 8 teams have new head coaches, with 6 of them being first-time head coaches.: Cardinals, Bengals, Browns, Packers, Dolphins, Broncos.

The Jets and Bucs have hired coaches with previous head coaching experience.

As we prepare for mini camps, voluntary and mandatory, the media is in full force with its cycle of praise and criticism, almost seemly setting some up for instant success or in other cases instance failure.

This leaves many fans questioning how their favorite teams could make such a questionable hire.

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Wrapping up the draft for the AFC and NFC South

Sonja Greenfield, Senior NFL Reporter

By Sonja Greenfield //@Mom23RN

This week I’ll be looking at the AFC and NFC South and how they did with their drafts.  I’ll ask 3 questions about each team.  Did they address their biggest need? Who will have the biggest impact? What could 2019 look like?

Let’s start with the Indianapolis Colts. After having a pretty strong offensive line, quarterback Andrew Luck, and Pro Bowl tight end Eric Ebron, the Colts focused on defense.  7 of their 10 picks were defensive.

Who could have the biggest impact? Former Michigan State safety Khari Willis.  He worked hard and was an impact player.  I think he’ll fit in nicely.  2019 for the Colts?  If their defense lives up to its potential, it could be tough sledding for the rest of the AFC South.

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