NFL & NCAAF 1 Week Special
10% off + Free 10,000 VIP Points



PURCHASE NOW

Football picksJuly 18, 2008

NFL Previews 2008: NFC South

PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH:
 
1. NEW ORLEANS
2. CAROLINA
3. TAMPA BAY
4. ATLANTA

NEW ORLEANS 
COACH: SEAN PAYTON 3rd yr (18-16)
LAST YEAR: 7-9
GAMES DECIDED BY 3 OR LESS:  0-1
BIGGEST ADDITION: JONATHON VILMA  LB
BIGGEST LOSS: JEFF FAINE   C

DIRECTION: GOING UP
OUTLOOK: The Saints were a huge positive surprise in ’06, but an equally disappointing surprise in ’07. Last season many felt they would challenge for the NFC Championship and a trip to the Superbowl. It never materialized as they got out of the gate 0-4, made a late run, but fell short. Deuce McCallister will be back, but can he be productive off yet another ACL surgery? If he is, Reggie Bush should immediately be more effective, as he was a marked man in McCallister’s absence. Jonathon Vilma in the middle of the Saints defense should provide a lot of help. They will be helped greatly with a very soft schedule (#28 out of 32). The Saints have the weapons to rise again after a disappointing ’07 season, and we see this team looking more like ’06 than ’07.
 
PROJECTED FINISH:  10-6
 
CAROLINA 
COACH: JOHN FOX 7th yr (56-47)
LAST YEAR:  7-9
GAMES DECIDED BY 3 OR LESS: 2-0
BIGGEST ADDITION: MUHSIN MUHAMMAD  WR
BIGGEST LOSS: MIKE RUCKER  DE
 
DIRECTION: GOING UP
OUTLOOK: Carolina watched their season go up in smoke last year when Jake Delhomme went down with an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery. This season of course a lot will hinge on how well he recovers. If Delhomme can’t get it done, the Panthers could be in trouble as they finally gave up on DeShaun Foster, and will go with DeAngelo Williams and Jonathon Stewart. This offense produced 7 points or less in five games last season, and it doesn’t look to be a whole lot better this year. The Panthers could reach .500 but don’t see them as a playoff team.
 
PROJECTED FINISH:  8-8
  
TAMPA BAY
COACH: JON GRUDEN 7th yr (51-50)
LAST YEAR:  9-7
GAMES DECIDED BY 3 OR LESS: 1-2
BIGGEST ADDITION: WARRICK DUNN  RB
BIGGEST LOSS: BRIAN KELLY   CB
 
DIRECTION: GOING UP
OUTLOOK: It seems like Jon Gruden has been at Tampa Bay forever, and a good team one year seems to turn into a bad team the next. The Bucs turned a 4-12 mark into 9-7 last year. The problem is that Gruden (51-50 at Tampa Bay), has yet to follow a winning season with another. With games vs Green Bay, Dallas and San Diego, it may be difficult to achieve a winning mark this season as well. Cadilac Williams went down with a knee injury and may not be ready to perform early, if at all this season. Joey Galloway will be in his 14th season and towards the end of last season he was dinged up and ineffective. The Bucs could drop back a bit offensively, and that only means it will be tougher to win games. Although they may not have a losing season, it likely won’t be a winning one either.
 
PROJECTED FINISH: 8-8

ATLANTA
COACH: MIKE SMITH 1st yr
LAST YEAR:  4-12
GAMES DECIDED BY 3 OR LESS:  1-1
BIGGEST ADDITION: MICHAEL TURNER RB
BIGGEST LOSS: ALGE CRUMPLER  TE

DIRECTION: GOING UP
OUTLOOK: The Falcons struggled on and off the field last season. With the Michael Vick saga and era frimly in the rear view mirror, a new era begins. Coach Petrino lost this team early last season and new head coach Mike Smith seems to have the players behind him. The offense will get a new look with Matt Ryan at QB. A nice pick-up in Michael Turner to compliment Jerius Norwood gives the Falcons a QB with promise, and two backs with breakaway potential. The Falcons produced 20 points or less in 13 of their first 14 games in ’07. We see the offense doing a better job this year, and ultimately, an extra few wins should accompany it.
 
PROJECTED FINISH:   6-10