The NFC South Primer: Toughest divisional matchups

It’s very hard to predict what’s going to happen in the NFC South, but Bucs WirePanthers WireSaints Wire and Falcons Wire teamed up to try and do just that for the 2023 season. We’re introducing the NFC South Primer, where the four Wire sites team up to get you ready for the wildcard that is the NFC South in 2023.

Every iteration will tackle a different question, and for this installment, each editor picks a favorite free-agent addition that their team made in free agency so far in 2023.

In this iteration, the Wire editors pick who they believe will be the toughest divisional opponent for their team.

Previous entries in the series:

Team expectations

Draft grades

Potential breakout candidates

Favorite free agency additions

Biggest free agency losses

Favorite rival moves

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: New Orleans Saints

Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

The Bucs may not be the premier team in the NFC South anymore (although who knows?), but expect the New Orleans Saints to continue serving as the ever-present thorn in Tampa Bay’s side. Derek Carr should do well for them, as mentioned earlier, and the team has retained just enough defensive pieces to likely give one of Baker Mayfield or Kyle Trask some agitation in the Bucs’ two matchups in New Orleans. — River Wells, Bucs Wire Editor

Carolina Panthers: New Orleans Saints

Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints still boast one of the NFL’s top defenses. They allowed the fifth-fewest yards per game (314.8) and the ninth-fewest points per game (20.3) in 2022. And now that they have a decent enough quarterback in Derek Carr, the Panthers could have a lot to deal with on both sides of the ball when they clash with head coach Dennis Allen and crew. — Anthony Rizzuti, Panthers Wire Editor

New Orleans Saints: Carolina Panthers

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Panthers are my pick for the Saints’ biggest challenger, having swept them last year and won a surprising number of games with New Orleans in recent years without a good head coach or quarterback. Now they might have both. — John Sigler, Saints Wire Editor

Atlanta Falcons: New Orleans Saints

(AP Photo/Butch Dill)
(AP Photo/Butch Dill)

The Falcons have lost three straight games to the Saints. In Week 1, Atlanta blew a 16-point fourth-quarter lead to New Orleans, which the team never seemed to fully recover from. The toughest divisional matchup for the Falcons will likely be their Week 18 game against the Saints in New Orleans.  — Matt Urben, Falcons Wire Editor



Story originally appeared on Buccaneers Wire