2023 NFC South Preview

Image: neworleanssaints.com

2023 NFC South Preview

The dog days of summer can’t last forever and thank goodness for that because football is around the corner, and we are gearing up for the 2023 NFL season with our divisional previews. We will be going division by division, breaking down the biggest headlines, the new additions, and our predictions. Here’s our 2023 NFC South Preview.

Last Year

Ugly, ugly, ugly. In Tom Brady’s final NFL season, his team went out with a losing record and a blowout loss in the postseason to the Dallas Cowboys. The Bucs finished 8-9 while the other three teams in the NFC South finished 7-10. The runner-up was the Carolina Panthers who made a strong push towards the end of the season with interim head coach Steve Wilks who was later relieved of his duties. They ended up trading up for the first pick and have a whole new outlook on their franchise. The Saints and Falcons followed suit. The Saints struggled at the quarterback position while the Falcons had little to no consistency at the position as well. It was an all-around bad year for the NFC South, a division we had become accustomed to sending a team deep into the postseason with a strong history of good quarterback play, but this was a changeup.

Favorite to Win in 2023

The Saints are the favorites to win in 2023. They have upgraded at quarterback with Derek Carr, and they are praying that they finally get a healthy year out of Alvin Kamara and Mike Thomas. If they can keep their skill guys healthy, they have a good shot at making a run to the postseason with a defense that is still incredibly talented. After them, give us the Falcons who loaded up this offseason and now have one of the most fun offenses in the league with Kyle Pitts and Bijan Robinson. The Panthers could be an interesting team to watch with Bryce Young and a lot of offseason upgrades, but they are still a few years away. While the Bucs defense remains elite, I am skeptical that Baker Mayfield is legit enough to lead the Bucs back to the postseason.

Offensive Player to Watch: Derek Carr

This was a massive move in the offseason and if Carr can play at a high level, we should get a pretty good squad in the south this year. However, Carr has really struggled with turnovers and inconsistent play at points in his career. This is a great chance for him to show he still has it.

Defensive Player to Watch: Devin White

The Bucs linebacker has been active on social media this season about not getting paid. He was a hero during the Bucs Super Bowl run but has flat-lined since then. He could be a very well-paid player this offseason if he figures it out this season.

Prediction: New Orleans Saints

Having a legit QB is mandatory to making the postseason in the NFL and the Saints have the best in the division with two unproven guys and then Baker Mayfield lurking in the shadows. Record: 10-7