2023-09-08 · 5 min read · NFL/Football
Chase Edmonds and Jessie Bates

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports | Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The NFC South was the weakest division in 2022, as all four teams ended the regular season below .500.
With the retirement of Tom Brady and each team beginning the year with a new starting QB, 2023 could be one of the most unpredictable seasons in recent memory for this division.
Here is a look at each team in the NFC South and my predictions.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Key Additions
  • Baker Mayfield- Quarterback- Los Angeles Rams
  • Chase Edmonds- Running Back- Denver Broncos
  • Payne Durham- Tight End- Purdue
Key Subtractions
  • Tom Brady- Quarterback- Retired
  • Leonard Fournette- Running Back- Released
  • Julio Jones- Wide Receiver- Free Agent
Biggest Strength
Not having a leader like Brady is unquestionably a significant loss, however, this receiving corps still has some solid veterans who’ve been consistently sharp, with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin being fairly reliable in what was a dismal 2022 season for this team offensively.
Biggest Weakness
Leonard Fournette and the running game were disastrous in 2022, with a mere 1,308 yards on the ground, well back of all NFL teams last season, with the Texans coming in at second-last, racking up 1,476 rushing yards.
I don’t see that getting any better with Rachaad White and Chase Edmonds in the backfield, while their offensive line is good but has not opened up the running lanes much of late.
Prediction- Fourth in NFC South
Baker Mayfield is good for an inspirational comeback win now and again, but I don’t have much confidence that he can maintain a high level of play for an entire regular season.
The new wide zone scheme implemented by their new offensive coordinator Dave Canales might take some time to execute, while I believe many of the veterans on this roster have reached their peak with the Bucs relatively thin in terms of overall depth.
Atlanta Falcons
Key Additions
Bijan Robinson- Running Back- Texas
Jessie Bates- Safety- Cincinnati Bengals
Calais Campbell- Defensive End- Baltimore Ravens
Key Subtractions
Marcus Mariota- Quarterback- Philadelphia Eagles
Damiere Byrd- Wide Receiver- Carolina Panthers
Rashaan Evans- Linebacker- Free Agent
Biggest Strength
Whether it’s Desmond Ridder or Taylor Heinicke behind centre at the start of the season, the Falcons will have plenty of talented receivers to throw the ball, too, as Drake London has lots of room to grow, while Kyle Pitts and Jonnu Smith are solid pass blockers, who should help them in third-down passing situations.
Biggest Weakness
Calais Campbell is still a solid contributor who can bolster that defensive line, but at his age, I don’t believe that he’ll help the Falcons register many more sacks this season, with Atlanta struggling to generate much pressure on opposing QBs throughout 2022, posting the second-fewest sacks in the NFL (21).
Prediction- Second in NFC South
In a division that is so hard to call, there’s a lot to like about the direction Atlanta seems to be headed, and while their prospects are still pretty raw, I think they’ll be able to contend for the division crown throughout the campaign.
Carolina Panthers
Key Additions
  • Bryce Young- Quarterback- Alabama
  • Miles Sanders- Running Back- Philadelphia Eagles
  • Vonn Bell- Strong Safety- Cincinnati Bengals
Key Subtractions
  • DJ Moore- Wide Receiver- Chicago Bears
  • D’Onta Foreman- Running Back- Chicago Bears
  • Sam Darnold- Quarterback- San Francisco 49ers
Biggest Strength
I have a lot of faith that Bryce Young can develop quickly into an elite NFL quarterback, and he’s got a good mix of youth and experience at the receiver position with the additions of DJ Chark, Adam Thielen and tight end Hayden Hurst.
That should make Frank Reich’s offensive unit a lot more dangerous aerially in 2023.
Biggest Weakness
The Panthers were tied for 25th in quarterback sacks last year (35), and I don’t see them improving all that much in 2023, as they were pretty quiet in free agency in that department.
Prediction- Third in NFC South
I could see them giving up many points defensively this year, but all of their raw talent could surprise us in 2023 and make them a divisional contender.
New Orleans Saints
Key Additions
  • Derek Carr- Quarterback- Las Vegas Raiders
  • Jamaal Williams- Running Back- Detroit Lions
  • Bryan Breese- Defensive Tackle- Clemson
Key Subtractions
Kaden Elliss- Outside Linebacker- Atlanta Falcons
Marcus Davenport- Defensive End- Minnesota Vikings
David Onyemata- Atlanta Falcons
Biggest Strength
Not having Alvin Kamara early on this season shouldn’t hold them back too much, as Jamaal Williams has proven to be productive and consistent on the ground, and when those two are both available at the same time, they could be handy for the Saints regarding eating up the clock when needed and they’re both threats when it comes to running and catching the football.
Biggest Weakness
Derek Carr makes his share of big plays, but his emotions often get the best of him, and that appears to affect his play as he is never short on mistakes.
He should improve the Saints’ stats in 2023 throwing the ball, but is he able to control himself and not feel the need to make a big play when they’re not there?
That could determine how well the Saints fare in 2023.
Prediction- First in NFC South
Carr is unpredictable, but this could be a solid bounce-back year for the former Pro Bowler in a new setup with some quality receivers and versatile backs.
Overall, I think the Saints’ veterans will keep this team level-headed and consistent throughout the campaign in a wide-open division.
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