This season, the Redskins have to deal with the NFC South in their schedule. The NFC South consists of the Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Both the Falcons and the Panthers made the playoffs last year but were defeated in their first games. Both the Saints and the Bucs had mediocre records last season. This will still be a tough division to beat.
Matt Ryan and the Falcons surprised me last year. The rookie QB threw for just under 3500 yards and took his team to the playoffs. Michael Turner had the second most rushing yards. This offseason, the Falcon's acquired Tony Gonzalez, one of the best receiving tight ends. John Abraham was a sack monster last year and will probably do the same this season.
The Carolina Panthers finished first in the division but were a disappointment in the playoffs when being embarrassingly defeated by the Arizona Cardinals 13-33. DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart were a great running duo, both combining for 2351 yards rushing. Steve Smith is one of the elite receivers in the league, but needs another young talent to step up as his number two. Julius Peppers is one of the dominant defensive ends in the league but was part of some offseason drama and says he is unhappy in Carolina.
Drew Brees threw for over a whopping 5000 yards last season with the Saints but played with a defense that gave up more than 24 points per game and was 23rd in total yards allowed, even with the addition of Jonathan Vilma. Plus injuries led to a running game that was 28th in the league.
Tampa Bay was pretty mediocre last season and I am not too too worried about them, especially since they have hired a new coach. Byron Leftwich seems to be the top candidate to be starter, but they drafted Josh Freeman in the first round and have another unproven QB in Josh Johnson.
What do you think will be the Redskins record versus the NFC South?