Things were always going to be tough for teams in the NFC South this season. All four teams were essentially breaking in new starting quarterbacks. But the injury to the New Orleans Saints quarterback Derek Carr will be a tough pill to swallow in the bayou. Carr was reinvigorated to be in New Orleans following a messy divorce in Las Vegas.
Before he exited the Saints’ loss to Green Bay, New Orleans had a 17-point lead entering the fourth quarter. Without Carr, the Saints’ offense cratered. New Orleans could hardly get first downs, let alone score any points.
The sudden inconsistency allowed Green Bay to rally for a one-point win. Every team in the NFC South had some sort of quarterback issue last weekend, either due to injury or ineffectiveness.
What that produced was a week that saw all three undefeated teams in the NFC South. While no one should react negatively to one week of results in the topsy-turvy NFL, the NFC South Division’s struggles shouldn’t be discounted either.
|Week 2 Result
|L, 20-6 at Detroit Lions
|New Orleans Saints
|L, 18-17 at Green Bay Packers
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers
|L, 25-11 vs. Philadelphia Eagles
|L, 37-27 at Seattle Seahawks
Red Rifle Looks Solid
Andy Dalton has made a solid living being a veteran spot starter for a number of NFL teams over the past few years. When Panthers first-round pick Bryce Young was sidelined by an ankle injury last week, he was called into action. Carolina head coach Frank Reich also tailored the offense to him.
Dalton loves throwing the long ball. So that’s what Carolina did. For the most part, the strategy gave the Panthers a chance to pick up their first win in the NFC South. Dalton threw for 361 yards and two touchdowns in the loss. If Young’s injury lingers, Dalton has the capability to help things close.
Black sports news indicates that Carolina coach Frank Reich has made it abundantly clear that Young will be the starting quarterback no matter the situation if he is healthy.
Winston Struggles to Step In
Jameis Winston has never quite found his fit in the NFL. He has made a lot of starts between the Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers but has never been consistent enough to become a franchise quarterback.
During the fourth quarter against the Packers, Winston couldn’t move the changes. While he nearly passed for as many yards as Carr did, Winston couldn’t help create enough first downs to win the game.
While the Saints remain confident with Winston, the franchise hasn’t had much luck since Drew Brees retired in 2017. New Orleans has had to start eight different quarterbacks during that timespan. Winston is in the final year of his contract and will want to audition for work somewhere around the league next season.
Mayfield Struggles With Pass Rush
It’s not easy being a shorter quarterback in the NFL. The defending NFC Champion Philadelphia Eagles are built to make life even more difficult on opponents. While Baker Mayfield was only sacked twice Monday night, he felt the Eagles pass rush in his face all night.
Mayfield only finished with 141 passing yards and also threw an interception. He didn’t have much support either. Philadelphia’s defensive line ripped apart Tampa Bay and only allowed the Buccaneers to average 2.4 yards per carry in the run game.
Ridder Feels the Heat
Good luck trying to move the ball against the motivated Detroit Lions. At least that’s what second-year Atlanta quarterback Desmond Ridder found out Sunday. The Lions were challenged by their coach during the week and ended up sacking the NFF South quarterback seven times.
During the first two weeks, Atlanta’s offensive line only allowed two sacks total. Detroit didn’t just stop the passing game. Falcons rookie running back Bijan Robinson also felt the pain. He was limited to 33 rushing yards on 10 carries.
Saints Ready for Kamara to Come Back
New Orleans has been operating during the first three weeks of the season without suspended running back Alvin Kamara. The Saints’ last game before he returns shows how much they miss him.
Kendre Miller and Tony Jones Jr. Split the carries against the Packers. Neither running back really heated up. Each player finished above 4.0 yards per carry. If the Saints are to make waves in the NFC South, they undoubtedly need a fit and healthy Kamara in their lineup.
Buccaneers Defense Regresses
On a night where the offense struggled, Tampa Bay couldn’t afford to be outgained by 300 yards of total yards. But the Buccaneers couldn’t figure out a solution to stopping Eagles running back D’Andre Swift.
Swift didn’t get in the endzone, but there were few other places that he didn’t go. He averaged 8.1 yards per carry and went over the 100-yard mark for the second straight game as the Eagles running game pushed Tampa Bay around.
Panthers Need to Get Healthy
Things went from bad to worse for Carolina’s defense Sunday. Entering the game, the Panthers were already missing starters Shaq Thompson and Jaycee Horn. But the infirmary kept filling up for the team at the bottom of the NFC South.
The Panthers would lose linebacker Frankie Luvu with a hip pointer and cornerback C.J. Henderson to an ankle injury. The weight of trying to fill in for all these people came crashing down in the second half.
Seattle running back Kenneth Walker suddenly found gaping holes and would score two touchdowns. Walker finished with 97 rushing yards as the Seahawks pulled away for a win.
Andersen May Be Done for Season
It’s a good thing Nate Landman has been called in to play linebacker in Troy Andersen’s place already this season. That assignment may end up being longer than expected.
Top sports news today indicates Andersen may miss the rest of the season for the NFC South team with a shoulder injury he suffered Sunday against the Lions. Andersen is a former second-round pick Atlanta has high hopes for, while Landman was an undrafted free agent.
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