What they might be thinking: NFC South

New Orleans Saints

Whether we agree with Bountygate or not, we have to accept the consequences and move on as best as we can. Our first order of business is to get Drew Brees locked down with a long term deal. Make no mistake about it, Brees will be on the field with the Saints this season. Our coaching situation presents a unique challenge, but we’re a veteran team, and we think our on-field leadership can overcome the absence of Sean Payton. There’s obstacles for us to overcome, but we think we’re up to the challenge.

Atlanta Falcons

The Saints are hurting — badly. We have a very stable organization, and this could very easily be our year to make a deep playoff run. Our first and foremost goal is to win the division. We think we’re good enough to get a first round bye in the playoffs. From there, we’ll set our sights on the ultimate goal of winning the Super Bowl. Everything this offseason has lined up well for us, and we believe we’re ready to make the leap to being a front runner in the NFC.

Carolina Panthers

Last year Cam Newton was nothing short of spectacular. Now we need the rest of our team to step up. More specifically, we need our defense to step up to the level of play we saw from our offense last season. Cam Newton is the leader we though he could be. He’ll keep us in a lot of games. It’s up to everyone else to get us over the hump. We don’t see any reason we can’t give the Saints and the Falcons a run for their money.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Last year was a disaster. Josh Freeman made way too many poor decisions that cost us points. He’ll have to battle back, but we’ve also seen what he can do before, and we expect for him to get back on track. There’s no doubt people are counting us out, but we still think we have a good, young group of players that can compete within our division. It could be a tough year, but we’re looking to shake things up in the NFC South.

About Shane Clemons

Shane Clemons came from humble beginnings creating his own Jaguars blog before moving on to SBNation as a featured writer for the Jaguars. He then moved to Bloguin where he briefly covered the AFC South before taking over Bloguin's Jaguars blog. Since the inception of This Given Sunday, Shane has served as an editor for the site, doing his best not to mess up a good thing.