NFC South Rankings: Analyzing the Division's Teams and Outlook

By Oliver Vaughn

July 7th, 2023

The NFC South division is filled with competitive teams, making it difficult to predict their rankings. In this analysis, we will assess each team's position groups, coaching staffs, and overall outlook heading into the upcoming training camp. By assigning numerical weights to each position group ranking, we can gauge the relative strength of each team.

Despite minor variations, all four teams in the division have a reasonable chance of finishing anywhere within the top four spots. This uncertainty adds excitement for football fans, but it might cause anxiety for Tampa Bay Buccaneers supporters. Without further ado, let's delve into the full team rankings of the NFC South.

New Orleans Saints

The New Orleans Saints claim the top spot in the NFC South rankings. Led by quarterback Derek Carr, they possess strong units in running back, wide receiver, tight end, linebacker, safety, and special teams. The Saints have constructed a solid all-around roster, with their only weakness being the offensive line. This team's success largely depends on the performance of their quarterback and the coaching staff's ability to overcome offensive line challenges.

However, with a strong supporting cast and a competitive defense under head coach Dennis Allen, the Saints are in a good position to contend for the division title and a playoff berth.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers finish just behind the Saints in the rankings, with a difference of 1.5 points. They share the highest number of top position groups with the Atlanta Falcons, totaling four.

The Bucs have assembled a plethora of talent on the defensive side of the ball, boasting players like Vita Vea, Shaq Barrett, and Antoine Winfield Jr. Coached by an innovative mind, they have the potential to possess the best defense in football, if not just in the NFC South. However, questions arise on the offensive side, particularly at running back and with a rookie play-caller. Despite these concerns, the Bucs are embracing variance and banking on the potential resurgence of their quarterback, Baker Mayfield, to propel them to success.

Atlanta Falcons

The Atlanta Falcons ranking might seem surprising, but the absence of synergy in the calculations could explain this discrepancy. Head coach Arthur Smith is constructing an offense that will be challenging for opponents to stop. The Falcons showed promise in their run game last year and have further bolstered their offensive line.

With the synergy of a potent run game against defenses primarily focused on stopping the pass, the Atlanta Falcons odds could emerge as the top offense in the NFC South.

On the defensive side, notable signings have elevated the talent level, but the cohesion of these additions remains uncertain. If the defense can gel, the Falcons might surprise as a dark horse playoff contender.

Carolina Panthers

Although the Carolina Panthers possess potential for higher rankings in the future, they are currently in a rebuilding phase. With a new coaching staff and a rookie first-round quarterback, the Panthers exhibit typical markers of a team in transition. Despite having some talented players, they did not rank first in any position group within the NFC South.

In fact, they ranked last in five different areas. However, the Panthers' coaching staff stands out as the division's best, which can maximize the team's potential even with a less impressive roster. This coaching advantage could help the Panthers compete sooner rather than later.


The NFC South is a highly competitive division, and each team has a viable path to claim the top spot. After careful analysis, the New Orleans Saints emerge with a slight edge due to their strong defense and the presence of the division's best quarterback.

However, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Atlanta Falcons, and Carolina Panthers all possess unique strengths and factors that could influence the division's outcome. As football fans, we can eagerly anticipate an exciting battle among these teams in the upcoming season.

Read our other division predictions:

Chiefs Continued Dominance: Predictions for the AFC West

The Ascendancy of the Lions: NFC North's 2023 Frontrunner

Sustained Success of the Bills: AFC East’s 2023 Frontrunner

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