The Saints marched to an NFC South title with a record of 13-3 in 2019. Don’t count on New Orleans winning the division by six games in 2020.
The NFC South was one of the least competitive divisions in the NFL a season ago. The Saints cruised to a division crown with a final record of 13-3. The Falcons and Buccaneers finished in a tie for second place with just seven wins. The Panthers limped to an ugly record of 5-11 which earned them last place.
The Saints might be the only team in the division who can credibly point to last year’s record as a solid indicator of what they’ll do in 2020. Continuity has been the name of the game in New Orleans this offseason. Sean Payton and his coaching staff return most of the star-studded roster that powered them to success last year.
Guys like Drew Brees and Michael Thomas should give the team elite production again this year. That bodes well for the Saints’ chances of repeating as division champs.
Who can challenge the Saints for the NFC South?
The Buccaneers arguably had the most eventful offseason in football. The arrival of Tom Brady has expectations sky-high in Tampa Bay. Anything less than a deep playoff run will now be deemed as a failure for Bruce Arians and his staff. Brady is a massive upgrade over Jameis Winston, but he has to prove he can be elite without Bill Belichick on the sideline.
The Falcons also have hopes of making a big jump in 2020. Any offense that starts with Matt Ryan and Julio Jones is going to put up a ton of points. Atlanta just needs its defense to keep up their end of the bargain. Fans in the ATL hope this is the year where Dan Quinn finally proves he can be the defensive mastermind they thought he was when he arrived from Seattle.
Even the Panthers believe they can, at the very least, be more interesting than they were in 2019. Matt Rhule has arrived in Carolina with a clear mandate to overhaul the roster. Installing Teddy Bridgewater at quarterback to trigger Joe Brady’s new offense should lead to some fireworks in Charlotte.