NFC South roundtable: Who will be your team’s toughest opponent?

After a “close finish” to the NFC South race last season, the division still seems pretty open as we inch closer to 2023. So, who will be the frontrunner to take the throne this year?

Our managing editors each chose the divisional foe who they believe will be the greatest threat to their team.

Bucs Wire: New Orleans Saints

Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
Nathan Ray Seebeck-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 and Kyle Trask some agitation in the Bucs’ two matchups in New Orleans.

River Wells

Falcons Wire: New Orleans Saints

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

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

Panthers Wire: New Orleans Saints

Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
Stephen Lew-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

Saints Wire: Carolina Panthers

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

More from the roundtable

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Story originally appeared on Panthers Wire