Can I run a quick recap of the NFC South up to this point?

Atlanta has got wins and taken names in its journey to 10-1 and first place in the NFC South. Since its week nine outing against Dallas, the Falcons have found themselves in close encounters, which included its first loss to New Orleans the following week. Until Atlanta proves itself a legitimate postseason threat, I’ll hold off on blowing the Dirty Birds’ trumpet.

Although plagued with “Bounty Gate”, the New Orleans Saints, for the most start, were expected to have a respectable 2012 campaign. After getting off to an 0-4 start, “Who Dat’s” finest climbed their way to respectable 5-6 mark. Are the Saints really coming?

Carolina, who was expected to improve collectively, has only half of last season’s win total with three. Considering his last performance under the Monday night lights against the Eagles, one can’t help but wonder if Cam Newton has finally emerged from the funk he was in since the Panthers’ Thursday Night embarrassment at the hands of the New York Giants.

The common ground these teams share is the decent expectations that were bestowed upon them prior to the season’s kickoff.  The lone wolf in this bunch is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Outside of the players, coaching staff, front office and fan base, this team was left for dead by many. Since starting the season at 2-4, Tampa Bay is alive and well, thanks to a spurt that saw the Buccaneers win four of their last five encounters.

With the moxxy of first year coach Greg Schiano, the running of rookie running back Doug Martin, the receiving tandem of Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams, steady play of Josh Freeman (a 94.3 quarterback rating), the progress impeding of the league’s number one rush defense and the leadership of the ageless wonder Ronde Barber, Tampa is giving the league more “Bang for its Buc”.

If you haven’t already, you might want to seriously consider Tampa Bay as a wildcard contender no one wants to play. You don’t need a number one seed to win a Super Bowl. If you feel otherwise, ask the Green Bay Packers, Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Giants, who are all recent wildcard entrants that won it all.

Can Tampa Bay’s season ending excursion be a smooth one?

Here we go:

Saints over Falcons

Jaguars over Bills

Bears over Seahawks

Colts over Lions

Packers over Vikings

Texans over Titans

Panthers over Chiefs

49ers over Rams

Patriots over Dolphins

Jets over Cardinals

Buccaneers over Broncos

Browns over Raiders

Bengals over Chargers

Ravens over Steelers

Cowboys over Eagles

Redskins over Giants

Last week, 12-4…the quest for that above .500 record continues.  You know what to do 168 hours from now.  As always, enjoy the games.

By Antoine Hoffman

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