September 07, 2006

Frinklin Football Forecaster: NFC South

1. Carolina Panthers
A positively evil defense. Steve Smith gets Keyshawn as a running mate. DeShaun Foster is healthy for now and DeAngelo Williams backs him up. An experienced quarterback. One of the best coaches in the NFL. The Panthers are a very chic pick for the Super Bowl, and it doesn’t take a genius to see why.

2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
After losing one of the ugliest playoff games in recent memory, the Bucs didn’t shake up the roster much, expecting young players to be a year better as well as a year older. Chris Simms is the undisputed starter at quarterback and he and Cadillac Williams are expected to lead this team for the next several years. The problem? The heralded defense is beginning to age. Derrick Brooks, Ronde Barber, Simeon Rice… all are on the wrong side of 30.

3. Atlanta Falcons
So is this all Michael Vick going to be? At this point Jim Mora and coordinator Greg Knapp have to realize that the structured West Coast offense isn’t the best bet for Vick. QB coach Bill Musgrave was brought in to work with Vick’s mechanics and decision-making. The Falcons have improved Vick’s weapons as Michael Jenkins and Roddy White might finally give the Falcons downfield threats. The defense was stiffened with the pick-ups of John Abraham and stud corner Jimmy Williams. This is a make-or-break year for both Vick and Mora. A stumble, and Mora could be shown the door.

4. New Orleans Saints
I’d love to be able to say that the Saints, behind new coach Sean Payton and quarterback Drew Brees and first-round pick Reggie Bush will shock the world, take the stricken Gulf Coast on their back and end up a playoff team. But I can’t, because Brees doesn’t look healthy, the offensive line is mediocre at best, and the defense lacks playmakers.

Champion: Carolina Panthers
Wild Card: None

PREVIOUS: AFC East, AFC South, AFC North, AFC West, NFC East

Posted by Frinklin at September 7, 2006 10:10 PM | TrackBack
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