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NFC South – Week 1 Predictions

Rather than a season preview where predictions can go (NFC) south fairly quickly, I will be looking at each fixture featuring NFC South teams on a week by week basis.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Miami Dolphins

No other place to start in the NFC South than what is currently happening in Florida. There has been plenty written already with regards to what the NFL should have done with the re-scheduling this game. Bottom line is that Florida and surrounding areas are currently being battered by Hurricane Irma and lives are in danger. There are times when football is irrelevant and this is one of them. Prayers for all affected and stay safe.

Atlanta Falcons @ Chicago Bears

There can’t be many fans, even Chicago natives, who fancy the Bears chances today. Mike Glennon will start but don’t expect the former Buccaneer to start his Bears’ career with a W especially with the loss of his number one Wide Receiver, Cameron Meredith, when he went down with a knee injury in pre-season. The Bears D should be able to handle Atlanta’s run game but trying to stop their passing game is an entirely different matter. As for the Falcons, well there first meaningful game since that fateful night last February, it will be interesting to see how they perform especially with a new Offensive Co-ordinater calling the shots. Expect the Falcons Defence to get after Glennon who, having watched him during his time in Tampa, struggles with mobility in the face of a pass rush. however, even if the Falcons are still struggling to shake off the ‘Super Bowl Hangover’, expect the Dirty Birds to begin the season with a win on the road.

Carolina Panthers @ San Francisco 49ers

Make no mistake, the 49ers will be much improved unit this season. New General Manager, new Head Coach, key additions in 2017 Draft, expect an improvement on the 2-14 record from last season. Brian Hoyer may not be a long term solution as Quarterback for the 49ers but with Kyle Shanahan onboard, I’m expecting Hoyer to be a reliable performer for San Fran. The Panthers will also be looking for an improvement on last seasons’ disappointment. Cam Newton will be back, he will have Christian McCaffrey alongside him in the backfield to share the load with both Newton and Jonathan Stewart the 49ers Defence won’t know who to cover. The duo of Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis will be back together patrolling the field behind the front line much to the relief of the PantherNation. This game will be closer than expected but Carolina will be joining the Falcons as NFC South teams with a road win in week 1.

New Orleans Saints @ Minnesota Vikings

The NFC South team with the toughest task in week 1. A trip to the amazing Vikings stadium to take on one of the challengers for the NFC North. There are few better Quarterbacks in the NFL than Drew Brees, so the Saints will alway put points on the board. The issue with New Orleans over the past few seasons has been the Defense, however, with the addition of youth at the Linebacker position, expect the Saints to be much improved on Defence. The Vikings already have an impressive Defence although they failed to shine in pre-season. Do you know what else failed to shine for the Vikings in pre-season? The Offense. Sam Bradford and his Offense were pretty dire. Stalling on a regular basis, the Vikings struggled to score points when their starters took to the field. Still, it’s game day and they are at home so expect the Vikings to improve. This game is without doubt the closest one to call for the NFC South teams but I’m going for a Saints’ away win secured by a last gasp Adrian Peterson TD………

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