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NFL 2016 Divisional Reviews – NFC South

The NFC South saw one of the greatest football season ever played out by the Carolina Panthers but they just ran out of steam at the end. The easily won the division, a full seven games ahead of their nearest rivals. The Falcons took second in the division, ahead of the Saints and the Bucs.

Panthers (15-1)

Falcons (8-8)

Saints (7-9)

Bucs (6-10)


Carolina Panthers – 15-1 (#1 seed)

Super Bowl 50 – L 24-10 Broncos

The Panthers were seen as one of the possible outside shots to go well this year, but no-one predicted what came about for them in 2015. After winning their last four regular season games of 2014, they continued that run well into the 2015 season. At one stage, it looked like they would do the unthinkable. 4-0 before the bye week turned in to 10-0 alongside the Patriots as the only two perfect teams left. It then became 14-0, and it looked like the perfect season was on. Defeat in Atlanta in Week 16 put pay to that, but by that stage, they had already sealed the #1 seed in the NFC.

They dismantled the Seahawks in the first half of their Divisional Weekend clash before the West Coast team came back. The Panthers held on for a 31-24 victory before thrashing the Cardinals in the NFC Conference Championship Game. A 49-15 victory set up the Super Bowl meeting with the Broncos. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be, being beaten 24-10 by Denver as they became Champions.

The Panthers will have the 30th pick in the draft in April.


Atlanta Falcons – 8-8

The Falcons were tipped as one of the favourites in the NFC, especially after going 6-1 through their first seven games. However, a run of six straight defeats, including being shut out by the Panthers in Week 14, saw them slip away. Beating Carolina in Week 16 ended their chance of a perfect season, but it was not enough to secure playoff football for Atlanta.

Pick number 17 will go to Atlanta in the draft.


New Orleans Saints – 7-9

The Saints’ season started badly, going 0-3. However, they looked like they had turned a corner after winning four of their next five to take their record to .500 at 4-4. The playoffs were in sight. Four defeats in their next four games put pay to that and another season without playoff football would follow for New Orleans. It is hard to believe they won it all so recently.

The Saints will have the 12th pick in the draft.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 6-10

The Bucs season never really got going. 2-3 before the bye week, including being beaten heavily in Tennessee meant they were playing catch-up from the very start. A run of 3-2 after the bye week brought them above the Saints, but four straight losses at the end of the season meant the would finish at the bottom of the NFC South.

Tampa Bay will make use of the no.9 pick in the 2016 draft.

About Matt Coles

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