Dec 22, 2013; Charlotte, NC, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) passes as Carolina Panthers free safety Mike Mitchell (21) defends in the third quarter. The Panthers defeated the Saints 17-13 at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
New Orleans: 12-4
Tampa Bay: 5-11
The rich got richer this offseason down in New Orleans, as they added Brandin Cooks to an already loaded receiving corps. Drew Brees is going to have some fun this year. We know the Saints are gong to put up massive numbers on offense, that’s just what they do. But their defense is one solid unit. They finished 2013 ranked fourth in the NFL in overall defense, and may be even better this year. When you combine an elite offense, with an elite defense, generally you get you good results, this time coming in the form of a division title.
The Panthers won’t be able to ride their ridiculous front seven to 13 wins again, which is why I have them slipping a bit. They have a bad defensive backfield, which will come back to bite you against the likes of Drew Brees, and Matt Ryan. Cam Newton also has nobody to throw the ball to, and when you’re in the same division as Brees, you’re going to need to score some points. I have Atlanta making a big jump from their disappointing 2014 campaign, but I don’t think they are quite ready to get back into the playoffs.