We are just a week away from the start of the most wonderful time of the year. The beginning of the football season. In this edition of The Sports Report we are going to look at the next two NFL conferences. The AFC and NFC South. Let us start with the NFC South.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The Bucs ended the 2011 season with a poor 4-12 record but it’s the NFC South and the worst team usually makes a comeback in the next season. This will not be happening for the Bucs. They added some veteran leadership on the offensive side of the ball but it is not going to help Josh Freeman very much. The abysmal play is coming from the defense. Will this team approve at all over the previous year? A little but not much. The Bucs finish with a record of 5-11
New Orleans Saints: The Saints might have won the division at 13-3 but the main story is not from who was gained and lost in the off season. The big story here is the leadership of Sean Payton suspended for the year for the bounty placed on players heads. This is a giant joke. He shouldn’t have been suspended for the entire season. The Saints lose their head coach so can they rest everything on the shoulders of Drew Brees. He will have another stellar season but that will transfer over to the defense. The Saints are going to have a rough year and finish the 2012 campaign with a 9-7 record.
Carolina Panthers: 6-10 in 2011 on the back of rookie quarterback Cam Newton. First of all, will cam Newton has a great year again? The answer is yes. He still has Steve Smith as a target. No matter his age that guy can still go. Cam is going to have some crazy numbers. The one thing that they needed to work on is the defense and that was something that they went out and got. Carolina is going to be deadly this season and someone that can’t be taken lightly. They are going to finish the year 10-6.
Atlanta Falcons: They finished with a 10-6 record last year and made the wild card. What can the Falcons do this year? The one thing I have felt Atlanta has been missing is a secondary. Their defense has what has been holding them back and in a big way. Well, they went out this season and picked up Assante Samuel. That will help them out tremendously. The offense clicks on all levels they will be dangerous. The Falcons are going to our right win this division with a record of 12-4.
Let’s take a look at the AFC South.
Jacksonville Jaguars: 2011 ended in Jacksonville with a record of 5-11. This is going to be another tough year for the Jags. Blaine Gabbert is not the answer to play quarterback. He is a very weak player. They have one saving grace. Two Words. Justin Blackmon. He is a man child. He was a great selection and might make Jacksonville a threat to upset some teams. They still don’t have a defense that causes any sort of confusion. They can’t just win on Maurice Jones Drew and Justin Blackmon. The Jags will finish with a record 3-13
Indianapolis Colts: The worst record in football 2-14. That wins you the number one draft pick. How much Luck will they be able to muster this season? Not much. It is going to be a hard year for the rookie. They are in a rebuilding year. It’s not going to be pretty. Jacksonville will at least have two wins. The Colts will finish the year with a 2-14 record again. Number one draft pick for two years in a row.
Tennessee Titans: Ended the season with a shocking 9-7 record. I would actually pick the Titans to finish the season with a better record if Kenny Britt can stay healthy. I am also ready to see what Jake Locker can do. Tennessee, will not be under tutelage of Jeff Fisher and that is going to help this team out in ways that can; to be counted. The defense is always one of the best in the league. Be afraid of this young team this year. Tennessee will finish the year 8-8
Houston Texans: They finished the year with a 10-6 record last season. If Matt Schaub stays healthy they are going to the Super Bowl. The offense is the most dangerous in the league with no recognition. They don’t get the props they deserve. This season Andre Johnson is going to put some big numbers, Arian Foster will be the top rusher in the league. I Could see Matt Schaub winning the MVP this season. The defense was amazing last season and this year will be no exception. The conference is really weak and they should easily pick up 6 games. 12-4 is going to be how they finish.