Cade Otton

Which team will come out on top in the NFL’s worst division?

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It won’t be easy, but with four games left in the season, it’s time to start making NFC South predictions for 2023. This may be the worst division in the NFL but it might also offer the most compelling division race in the NFL. Heading into Week 15, the NFC South standings are as tight as possible with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New Orleans Saints, and Atlanta Falcons all tied at 6-7.

Who Will Win the NFC South

Frankly, nobody deserves to win this division, but NFL rules dictate that somebody must, leaving the other two teams to fight for a Wild Card spot. Let’s take a look at the current state of each team and their remaining schedules to figure out who will win the NFC South this season.


It’s been ugly, but the Buccaneers have won their last two games – both against in-division foes – to get to 6-7. Tampa has a mediocre defense and one of the worst rushing attacks in the NFL. But Baker Mayfield at least brings some experience to the quarterback position. Plus, they still have one of the best wide receiver duos in the league with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin.

Most importantly, the Bucs are 3-1 inside the NFC South, giving them an important tiebreaker if two or three of these teams end up tied at the end of the season. Of course, they still have to face the Saints again, as a Week 17 matchup could decide the division. Just keep in mind the Bucs also have to visit the Packers and host the Jaguars before that game. Tampa needs to win at least one of those two games to stay in control of its destiny.


The Saints were the preseason favorites in this division but have underperformed. A lopsided win over the Panthers in Week 14 ended a three-game losing streak and put New Orleans on level ground with the other teams in the division. But it’s been a struggle for the Saints against quality opponents this year. Outside of two wins against Carolina, their wins have come against the Titans, Patriots, Colts, and Bears.


In other words, New Orleans has lost head-to-head games against both the Bucs and Falcons. That puts them at a huge disadvantage coming down the stretch despite facing each of those teams one more time. The Saints also have to host the stubborn Giants and surging Rams before Christmas, so their schedule isn’t exactly favorable.


Atlanta’s season has seen some rocky moments and some heartbreaking finishes. The Falcons are 6-7 after losing four of their last six games. All four of those losses have come by five points or less, so they’ve been painfully close to turning some of those losses into wins. Obviously, that doesn’t speak well of Atlanta’s ability to perform late in games. However, it does point to the Falcons being competitive and having a chance to win every game.

Late in the season, the Falcons will have to prove they can win away from home, as three of their last four games are on the road. Two of those road games are against the Panthers and Bears, both of which are winnable. There is also a home date with the Colts before a trip to New Orleans to close out things in Week 18. The opportunity is there for Atlanta, although the Falcons need to seize that opportunity, which is something they’ve struggled to do all season.


As it relates to NFC South predictions for 2023, we’re backing the Buccaneers to finish atop the worst division in football, just as they did last year.

As mentioned, Tampa’s record inside the division could be the difference-maker in the end. Playing the Panthers one more time and hosting the Saints in Week 17 also gives the Bucs an edge. The NFC South figures to be an ugly but competitive battle to the end, but the Buccaneers will come out on top.


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