Breaking Down the NFC South Race

In what was once a very competitive division, the NFC South has had a down year from top to bottom. However, it makes the final five weeks very interesting as all four teams still have a shot to win the title. This is how the division breaks down for the remainder of the 2014 season.

Atlanta Falcons

Record: 4-7 (1st in NFC South)

Remaining Schedule: vs. Arizona, @Green Bay, vs. Pittsburgh, @New Orleans, vs. Carolina

Combined Record of Remaining Opponents: 31-23-1

Right now the Atlanta Falcons are in the driver seat for the division title. However, they have the toughest schedule from here on out. Their next three games are against division leaders (Arizona, Green Bay, and Pittsburgh) and then have to go on the road to New Orleans before finishing up with the Panthers. The NFC South has been considered laughable but if the Falcons run the table and get to 9-7, they certainly would have earned it with these final five games.

 

New Orleans Saints

Record: 4-7 (2nd in NFC South)

Remaining Schedule: @Pittsburgh, vs. Carolina, @Chicago, vs. Atlanta, @Tampa Bay

Combined Record of Remaining Opponents: 21-33-1

The Saints right now are tied with the Falcons with a 4-7 record but have a much easier final five games with the teams having a combined .381 winning percentage. The one thing that could hold the Saints back is they have to go on the road for three of their final games, two of those games in cold weather cities (Pittsburgh and Chicago). This year the Saints are only 1-4 when they have to play on the road.

 

Carolina Panthers

Record: 3-7-1 (3rd in NFC South)

Remaining Schedule: @Minnesota, @New Orleans, vs. Tampa Bay, vs. Cleveland, @Atlanta

Combined Record of Remaining Opponents: 21-34

The Panthers have to like the way their schedule sets up. There is only one team with a winning record (Cleveland) and two of their final three games are at home. More importantly than that is after Minnesota, the Panthers play four defenses who rank in the bottom half of the league which could give the offense a chance to get back on track over the final five games. For them to make it to the playoffs this year, they almost certainly have to win on the road in both New Orleans and Atlanta which could be the potential stumbling block.

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Record: 2-9 (4th in NFC South)

Remaining Schedule: vs. Cincinnati, @Detroit, @Carolina, vs. Green Bay, vs. New Orleans

Combined Record of Remaining Opponents: 29-24-2

Sadly the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 2-9 are still very much alive to win the NFC South. They will have to win out but if they do 7-9 could get them the division title. The road will not be easy with three games against teams with winning records (Cincinnati, Detroit and Green Bay). However, they are home for the final two games of the season. 


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