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Power Rankings - NFC South


Zod
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Here is the Athletics power rankings for the NFC South. 

 

 

2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1)

Previous rank: 1

Week 3 result: Lost to the Rams, 34-24

Surprise! The Bucs brought back all 22 starters and most of their key backups, but that depth is already being tested, particularly in the defensive secondary. Tampa Bay enjoyed some injury luck last year on the way to its title — getting defensive tackle Vita Vea back for a postseason run was massive, literally — but the first three weeks of the season have been a reminder of how quickly that can change. The Bucs are already down two cornerbacks (Sean Murphy-Bunting and Jamel Dean) and a pass rusher (Jason Pierre-Paul, who is dealing with a nagging shoulder injury) and the Rams were able to exploit those weaknesses in ways future opponents like the Patriots and the Dolphins cannot.

 

 

14. Carolina Panthers (3-0)

Previous rank: 15

Week 3 result: Beat the Texans, 24-9

Surprise! D.J. Moore was already trending toward becoming one of the NFL’s top receivers, but that doesn’t make his quick chemistry with Sam Darnold any less impressive. Moore’s 16 receptions for a first down are tied for second in the NFL — one behind Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce — and his 285 receiving yards rank eighth. Carolina will need Moore to continue to put up elite numbers to make up for Christian McCaffrey’s absence.

 

 

16. New Orleans Saints (2-1)

Previous rank: 18

Week 3 result: Beat the Patriots, 28-13

Surprise! The Saints are surviving without Michael Thomas. It was one thing for Drew Brees to adjust to lengthy stretches without his No. 1 target last season, but now Jameis Winston has had to find other options, like Deonte Harris and Marquez Callaway. Harris is averaging nearly 19 yards per catch and Callaway caught his first touchdown of the season on Sunday. We knew the Saints would have to rely most heavily on Alvin Kamara (and indeed, Kamara leads the Saints in pass targets) but it’s been a pleasant surprise to see other receiving options emerge.

 

 

26. Atlanta Falcons (1-2)

Previous rank: 30

Week 3 result: Beat the Giants, 17-14

Surprise! The Falcons have the third-worst offensive EPA in the league. Even during a 4-12 season in 2020, Atlanta finished 14th in that category. It’s jarring to see Matt Ryan have such trouble getting the ball down the field. His 4.25 air yards per attempt are 32nd among 33 qualifying NFL quarterbacks.

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I think it's a fair assessment for the moment.  If we beat Dalls this week, I would be very disappointed if we didn't get to the edge of the top 10 next week.  Yes, the Jets were bad . . but the Saints are not that bad, the Texans aren't the train wreck everyone thought and apparently the Cowgirls are still the media darlings.

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42 minutes ago, BrianS said:

I think it's a fair assessment for the moment.  If we beat Dalls this week, I would be very disappointed if we didn't get to the edge of the top 10 next week.  Yes, the Jets were bad . . but the Saints are not that bad, the Texans aren't the train wreck everyone thought and apparently the Cowgirls are still the media darlings.

Why would you be disappointed if we beat Dallas and we’re still ranked 12th? The standings are the best rankings, no opinions.

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From ProFootballTalk

2. Buccaneers (2-1, No. 1): As they proved last year, there’s nothing like a regular-season loss (or two) to set the stage for a postseason reversal.

8. Panthers (3-0, No. 10): They can win without Christian McCaffrey, even though it obviously would be better to not have to try.

13. Saints (2-1, No. 14): Given everything they’ve been through, two wins in three games counts as a great start to the season.

24. Falcons (1-2, No. 30): The Giants let them hang around long enough to do that which no one expected them to do.

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2 hours ago, Zod said:

It’s jarring to see Matt Ryan have such trouble getting the ball down the field. His 4.25 air yards per attempt are 32nd among 33 qualifying NFL quarterbacks.

Even if they can his ass after this year, he carries $40.5M in dead cap. haha

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