The NFC South, is the only division in the National Football League that has had each of it’s teams in the realigned division, to reach the NFC Championship game since 2002.
Teams in this division are definitely getting tougher, you have two of the top quarterbacks in Matt Ryan and Drew Brees leading their teams each season. With the bottom two of the division, you have fresher faces with Cam Newton and Josh Freeman, who hope to be thrown in the same conversation as far as quarterback play is concerned with Matt Ryan and Drew Brees.
Each year a different division champion has been crowned since 2002 (Falcons 3, Saints 3, Bucs 3, Panthers 2), but for the last 4 seasons, the top of the division has been locked for either the Atlanta Falcons and the New Orleans Saints. New Orleans Saints being the only team since the 2002-2003 Tampa Bay Buccaneers to win the division and win the Super Bowl.
It appears that the division supremacy for the Atlanta Falcons and the New Orleans Saints will soon coming to an end.
The Carolina Panthers are slowly piecing their team together, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers seem to have the edge over them after recently acquiring corner-back Darrelle Revis. One of the best shut down corners in the league, according to Skip Bayless, he is the best since Deon Sanders, is coming off an ACL injury which sidelined him after only 2 games played last season. He will be known as one of the best shut down corner’s in the league unless his play this upcoming season tells us otherwise.
Matt Ryan was on NFL Networks Total Access last night and he was asked about his thoughts on Darrelle Revis joining the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he said
“He’s a great player, he really is, one of the best if not THE best in the NFL. It’s going to make our jobs a little bit tougher, their defense is already solid and I think the addition of Darrelle Revis makes them even better. But it’s a good pick up, we know our division is tough, we are going to have to play our best football week in and week out to give ourselves a chance.”
Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons had the best record in the NFC last season, finishing 13-3 and locking up the #1 seed. The last 4 seasons between the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints have each finished 13-3 in the league when they won the division, around 11-5 when becoming a Wild Card qualifier and (2011-2012 Atlanta Falcons) 10-6. So the way those two teams have been playing, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Carolina Panthers will have to either match those records or hope the Atlanta Falcons or New Orleans Saints have a season full of mistakes and losses.
Darrelle Revis definitely makes the Tampa Bay Buccaneers a lot better and the NFC South a lot tougher, the scary thing about this is, the Buccaneers can still afford to make more moves.