Breaking Down the Race For the NFC South Title
The NFC South has been far and away the worst division in the National Football League in 2014. The division has been so bad that there is only one team with the potential to finish the season with a .500 record. Whoever ends up winning the division title will host a Wild Card NFC playoff game despite finishing in the bottom half of the overall regular season NFL standings. With two weeks left in the season, this division race is primed to come down to the final games of the season for the three teams in contention.
The New Orleans Saints are currently sitting in first place in the division with a 6-8 record, followed by the Carolina Panthers (5-8-1), and the Atlanta Falcons (5-9). Here is a look at the remaining schedules and postseason outlooks for each of the three teams in contention for the NFC South title.
All statistics courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.
1. New Orleans Saints (6-8)
- Atlanta Falcons (6-8)
- @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-12)
The Saints’ playoff hopes basically come down to their Week 16 game against the Atlanta Falcons. With a win, the Saints would eliminate the Falcons from playoff contention, and put themselves in the driver’s seat to win the NFC South. With a loss, the Saints will have to hope the Cleveland Browns can beat the Carolina Panthers in Week 16, and that the Panthers can turn around and beat the Falcons in Week 17. The Saints control their own destiny, but without a win this week against the Falcons, the odds are stacked heavily against them in the race for the NFC South title.
2. Carolina Panthers (5-8-1)
- Cleveland Browns (7-7)
- @ Atlanta Falcons (6-8)
The Panthers have to win both of their remaining games, and hope that the Saints lose at least one of their two remaining games to have a chance at representing their division in the 2014 postseason. The Panthers are still alive in the NFC South race, but unlike the two other contenders, they do not control their own destiny.
3. Atlanta Falcons (6-8)
- @ New Orleans Saints (6-8)
- Carolina Panthers (5-8-1)
The 2014 playoffs start for the Falcons in their Week 16 matchup against the New Orleans Saints. The Falcons are in full control of their own destiny, but with a loss in either of their last two games, they will be eliminated from postseason contention. The Falcons currently own the tiebreakers over their divisional foes, but in all reality, the Falcons only hope at making the 2014 NFC Playoffs is to win both of their remaining games.