When Tom Brady came to Tampa Bay he was supposed to dominate the NFC South. It didn’t happen in 2020 (although the Buccaneers did win the Super Bowl), but that was the last season of Drew Brees in New Orleans and now there is no one to overshadow “TB12” in that Division.
Unless something extraordinary happens, things are not going to change much in 2022, with Brady and the Bucs as big favorites, and not only to win the NFC South, as many experts see Tampa Bay back in the Super Bowl. .
Although Brady has a powerful arsenal to be able to achieve it (Julio Jones, Russell Gage and Kyle Rudolph join a body of playmakers that includes Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Leonard Fournette and Cameron Brate), the Bucs’ offensive line has suffered many significant casualties, including center Ryan Jensen.
If the buccaneer ship sinks this year, then the divisional race will be one of the most entertaining in the NFL in 2022.
And the first in the list of possible candidates are the New Orleans Saintswho start a new era with the head coach Dennis Allenthe team’s defensive coordinator for six seasons.
Unlike the Bucs, New Orleans is strong on both lines, both offensively and up front, but they need the quarterback James Winston stay healthy and be more consistent than his record as a starter indicates: 33-44.
The Atlanta Falcons they also start a new era, because in free agency they lost matt ryan (now in Indianapolis) and the starting quarterback is Marcus Mariotawho has been left to duty as the second overall selection in the Draft.
The Falcons’ defense was one of the worst last season and if there isn’t a dramatic improvement this year, this could be the coach’s last chance. Arthur Smith (7-10 in 2021).
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The great unknown is the Carolina Pantherswho were the brave ones who gave a new opportunity to Baker Mayfield.
The first overall pick in the 2018 Draft was forced out of Cleveland after the Browns acquired deshaun watson. Mayfield found in Carolina a new home and perhaps his last chance to prove that he can be a starting quarterback in the NFL.
To compete in the NFC South, the Panthers need the best version of Christian McCaffreywho has missed 22 of the last 33 games due to injuries.
With McCaffrey and the wide receivers DJ Moore, Robbie Anderson, Shi Smith and Rashard HigginsMayfield could be a pleasant surprise in the new coordinator’s offense Ben McAdoo.
The makeover of the Panthers’ offensive line (one of the worst in the league last season) includes rookie tackle Ickey Ekwonu and free agents Bradley Bozeman Y austin corbettcenter and guard, respectively.
Brady and the Bucs are the favorites in the South, but don’t rule out an upset in that Division, which could come between the Saints, Panthers and Falcons.
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Tom Brady and the Bucs, big favorites in the NFC South