We are drawing closer to the start of the NFL season, as all 32 teams have reported to training camp. There will be so much to anticipate this year, including a new 17 game regular season. Rookies like Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson will be fun to watch. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will face an insane amount of pressure as they try to repeat as champions. Of course, we will all be watching for this year’s breakout star. As we count down the days to the opening kickoff, let’s preview the divisions. Today, we are looking at the NFC South.
Between the Saints and the Bucs, it seemed like the NFC South was on primetime TV every single week in 2020. Of course, we all know that the Bucs went on a heater to end the season and upset the Saints, Packers, and Chiefs in the postseason on their way to a Super Bowl title.
Tom Brady was the perfect addition to this stacked team and the young defense proved that they were more than just Brady’s other side in the Super Bowl. The Saints watched an era end as Drew Brees played his final game in the NFL, an upset loss to the Bucs in the divisional round. The Falcons were horrendous and fired their old regime mid-season and the Panthers struggled under first year head coach Matt Rhule.
Favorite to Win in 2021
The Bucs are clearly the favorites to win in 2021. This team is bringing back every single starter from their Super Bowl team, which is something we’ve never seen in the NFL. This Bucs team is now coming in with a year of experience of playing with each other and Brady is playing on a healthy knee. This team will be ripped apart after this season, with guys getting big deals elsewhere and assistants getting poached for head coaching gigs.
The Saints should finish second, although we will have to wait and see how good this team can be without Brees. I like the Panthers but am not sold on Sam Darnold as their starter after the rough beginning to his career in New York. The Falcons brought in Arthur Smith from Tennessee as their new head coach and will need a few years to be competitive, especially after losing star receiver Julio Jones.
Offensive Player to Watch: Christian McCaffrey
We were robbed of a healthy Christian McCaffrey season in 2020 and hopefully the former All Pro will be able to stay on the field this season. Two years ago, he had nearly 2,400 combined rushing and receiving yards and 19 touchdowns.
Defensive Player to Watch: Devin White
White has emerged as one of the most exciting players in the NFL on the defensive side of the ball. Many argued that he should have won the Super Bowl MVP, but he was just fine with the ring. White will look to elevate himself to an All Pro in 2021.
Prediction: Buccaneers (15-2)
I think the Bucs have a chance at the best record in the NFL in 2021 with a much easier schedule than they had in 2020. If this team gets hot, we know how good they can be.