By Hamish Girvan
Its October and the days of football in late summer is over and the games start getting harder. The NFC South has been always a division that has had more warmer weather for its home games and maybe this is why the offensive side of the game has been its strength.
NFC South fixtures this week
The New Orleans Saints are on a bye however they were on prime time Monday Night Football just past and it was the night that Quarterback Drew Brees set the record of throwing the most passing yards in NFL history. The debate now starts is he the greatest of all time? With one Superbowl ring (2010) potentially not however Tom Brady is 4,500 yards behind in that statistic – that record may not be broken for some time. The other debate is around why the game was stopped for 5 minutes whilst Brees celebrated with his family on the field ! They won convincingly over the Washington Redskins by the way.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons – Monday 6am NZ time
A divisional match up that surprisingly has a Tampa Bay team with a better record then their Atlanta opponents. The Falcons have only won once this season however a slew of injuries on the defensive side have accounted for this. They were easily dismantled by the Steelers last week however you would like to think they will be slightly more competitive in this match up – or will they ? Mercurial Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston is making his first start of the season after sitting out the start of it for a conduct issue. (Google Jameis Winston Uber to find out more). Winston can be brilliant or inconsistent however he will be wanting to get the Buccaneers season on track from their current 2-2 record. The days of back up quarterback Ryan “FitzMagic” are a distant memory so odds on Winston making a statement are high. Take Tampa Bay +3.5
Carolina Panthers at Washington Redskins – Monday 6am NZ time
The Carolina Panthers are one of those below the market slow burning teams and their record since week 8 of the 2017 season is 10-3. Not bad when considering only the Patriots and Rams have better ones. Head Coach Ron Rivera is a no nonsense defensive minded coach who gets the best out a team not entirely full of superstars. Quarterback Cam Newtown has matured over the years and is playing steady football. They go into Washington as underdogs however the Redskins have a number of issues on and unsurprisingly off the field (Corner Josh Norman is in the news again for attitude issues) and their fans are getting sick and tired of false dawns from their teams ownership. The Redskins will be wanting to amend for the beatdown they took against the Saints last week however Carolina is probably not the team they will want to face to do that. Take the Panthers +1.5
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