The NFL Depot
by Dave Mest Jr.
NFC South Preview
Welcome Back to the NFL Depot! Just as always I’m your host Dave Mest! With some unseen issues over the last few weeks, I’m going to bring a quick overview of the remaining six divisions. We start things off with a short review of the NFC South. These Columns are going to be short and sweet, with prep work for the upcoming season around the corner. So, with all the questions, and answers needed, here’s the catch tag…..Let’s get to it!
1. Atlanta Falcons: The Falcons should win this division. I like the win it now attitude, that the Falcons are showing. They made some key moves with in the coaching staff. If Dirk Koetter and Mike Nolan can’t deliver the long playoff run, and Super Bowl title, craved by owner Arthur Blank, Mike Smith could very well be out of a job. Their offense should put up great numbers. The Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Roddy White, and Tony Gonzalez combos should be strong again. Michael Turner should be up to par, look for him to put up about the same numbers as last year. I’m not too sure about their aging defense. It seems there are too many leadership problems, as well as lack of quality on the defensive line. If there is a weak spot on this team, it is with the defense. The Falcons must hope they get on better year out of aging defensive player, for them to be a big factor. I think they will get just that. Dave’s Pick 11-5
2. New Orleans Saints: I’m not sold on the Saints coaching choice, during Sean Payton’s suspension. Why pick a guy that’s not going to be able to coach until week six? For Saints fans sake, I hope they can overcome this juggling act. Drew Brees should be Drew Brees; I see big things out of him again this year. The Offense should put up big numbers, and I think the will have too. I think the Saints defense took too big of a hit, with bounty gate. With the loss of Jonathan Vilma, the heart and soul of this defense, and Will Smith for the first four games, this defense is going to struggle. Dave’s Pick 10-6
3. Carolina Panthers: The Panthers should make a great improvement over last year, just how much relies on the improvement of their defense. This year will be big for Cam Newton; he needs to show last year was no fluke. The offense should once again be the strong point of this team, but they will have to show more than just a strong run game to be a playoff team. I’m not sold on any other WR in camp after Steve Smith, and Smith is getting up there in age, I thought they should have looked for a WR before they did in the draft, as I don’t see Joe Adams being much of a factor this year. Dave’s Pick 9-7
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The Greg Schiano era starts in Tampa Bay. If you can take anything away from Rutgers, is ball control. Look for the Bucs to run the ball often this year. With first round pick Doug Martin, who could be the steal of the draft, and LeGarrette Blount, the Bucs will have one heck of a run game. But, with big armed Josh Freeman, and free agent pickups in Vincent Jackson, and Dallas Clark, the Bucs will not shy away from putting the ball up either. The young players on the defense need to show they can step up their game, they have too many question marks on the D-line. They need to get more out of McCoy and Price, and Amobi Okoye needs to show he can play in this league, after Tampa Bay being his 3rd team. The Bucs also have to hope they can get one more year out of Ronde Barber, or things could get ugly in defensive backfield. Dave’s Pick 7-9
Bay’s Picks Tarn’s Picks/Odds
1. New Orleans Saints 11-5 1. New Orleans Saints 11-5 5/1
2. Carolina Panthers 10-6 2. Atlanta Falcons 10-6 7/1
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 9-7 3. Carolina Panthers 9-7 10/1
4. Atlanta Falcons 8-8 4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 8-8 12/1
Well that’s a wrap for this shorty of a column. I will be bringing these types of columns, over the next week, leading up to the season opener. I have a lot of cool stuff starting with a site Fantasy Football league, which we will be posting the draft results, and a weekly update of the standings, plus our key Fantasy player pick up of the week. I will also have a lot of other stuff coming your way, when the season finally starts. Til next time see ya!