Week 7 was a bit quiet for the NFL’s NFC South Division. With Carolina and Tampa Bay enjoying the rest that comes with a Bye week, that left only the New Orleans and Atlanta seeing action.
In what seems to be a trend so far this season, the Saints won easily while the Falcons lost heavily.
With all four teams back in action for Week 8, and their quarterbacks being the most talked about subject on the mind of fans, let’s take a look at the upcoming matchups and see if there might be any surprises in store for the competition…
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?
Week 5 saw a whole lotta offense in the NFC South! Apparently, it’s defense that is most lacking in this division.
The New Orleans Saints (4-1) remain atop the division after defeating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-3). The Carolina Panthers (3-2), with backup quarterback Kyle Allen under center again, got a victory keeping them in second place. The bottom spot is for the Atlanta Falcons (1-4), whose awful record may be the biggest surprise in the entire NFL.
Falcon quarterback Matt Ryan is the only starting QB left from pre-season due to injuries to Drew Brees, Cam Newton and Nick Foles, so you’d think they would have some kind of edge. Yeah, not so much. Head Coach Dan Quinn’s job may be in jeopardy if they don’t find a way to turn things around quickly.
Between the hard-fought ground battle in Baltimore between the Ravens (2-2) and the Cleveland Browns (2-2), to the Monday Night Football showcase of two winless teams, Pittsburgh Steelers (1-3) vs Cincinnati Bengals (0-4), the AFC North is a division undergoing a huge transformation.
How did this week’s games impact the division standings – and what do the upcoming weeks have in store for these hard grinding teams?
Let’s take a look at the first quarter of the 2019 season for this division…
Divisional Match-ups are finally here in the AFC North and there are two great ones this weekend.
Sunday, the Baltimore Ravens (2-1) host the Cleveland Browns (1-2). Then on Monday Night Football, the Pittsburgh Steelers (0-3) host the Cincinnati Bengals (0-3)
During the off-season, it appeared that there would be a battle going on in this division. However, a season-ending injury to Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has left the team floundering. And first-year head coach Freddie Kitchens is struggling with discipline and penalty issues for the Browns.
Will this week’s match-ups ultimately decide the division?
Things got shaken up in the NFC South this weekend. The Carolina Panthers are winless while the other three teams are tied up in the standings at 1-1.
The most startling news is the thumb injury to New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees. Early reports indicate 6-8 weeks of recovery but if it really is “Gamekeepers Thumb,” he may be out all season.
Are the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or the Atlanta Falcons poised to take over the division? Let’s see what happened to them this week.
The Baltimore Ravens sit alone atop the AFC North after one week due to surprising losses by the Cleveland Browns and the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Cincinnati Bengals loss to the Seattle Seahawks was only surprising in that the game was so very much closer than anyone predicted.
The Ravens looked amazing, but is that because the Miami Dolphins are worse than advertised? And after all the pre-season hype, are the Browns really this bad?
No one was surprised to see the New England Patriots man-handle the Steelers, yet the complete beat-down was unexpected. And quarterback Andy Dalton put up better numbers than Russell Wilson!!!! How did that happen?
Editors Note: OurTurf Football has had a great, long-time friendship with Russell Baxter and we were honored when he asked a few of our writers to do team season previews for his website, PFG Vibe/ProFootballGuru. OTFB’s Kate Arhar wrote up her thoughts on the upcoming season for the Cleveland Browns. The article was originally published on Aug 27, 2019, and can be seen here.
Even with a first-time head coach, new offensive coordinator and new defensive coordinator, the Cleveland Browns have never engendered higher hopes among their fans than they have in this off-season. While a 7-8-1 record is not usually something to give one much hope, the Browns were a combined 1-31 for the two previous seasons.
Their woes at the quarterback position are the stuff of legend – and ESPN film reels. But the drafting of quarterback Baker Mayfield seems to have changed all that. For the first time in my memory, and I’ve been following the Browns since 1975, the talent on this roster may actually be up to the challenge of meeting the fans expectations.