The dirty south. With just one super bowl win in the last decade, this division has been notorious for being the worst in football. But there is light at the end of the tunnel, as young talent at the Quarterback position looks to the propel the division back to glory.
1. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
But Fin, the MVP of the League is a quarterback in this division, how can he not be first? Being Drew Brees is also in that position. That's why. Now, the time to pass the torch may be near as Brees, at 37, is only getting older. Still, the Saints had the top passing attack last season with Drew throwing for 4,870 yards 32 TDs and 11 INTs. Signing Coby Fleener will bring some talent to the offensive side of the ball, and if Brees can continue to get the ball to Cooks and Snead then I see him playing at least another year at a high level. Respect to Cam, but Drew Brees is Drew Brees.
Stat Prediction: 4,500 yards 30 TDs 10 INTs and a bunch of Mark Ingram hype for the 5th straight season.
2. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
If I had to choose one quarterback to have for my franchise right now, it would be Cam Newton without a doubt. We can debate all day, but this man is the LeBron of the NFL. A physical freak with the speed of a guy 40 lbs lighter, and the strength of linebackers, Cam Newton is really taken for granted. Not only is he world class, he is a very smart quarterback who showed that he absolutely can be a pocket passer and did so with very little receiving talent. What Cam brings to the table as well is leadership that is very much in the direction of "love the game, enjoy the game, lets have some fun". This obviously rubs people the wrong way. The leader has to be serious, and perfect in all situations, win or lose. But the Panthers already have that leader, its Luke Kuechley. So when it comes to Cam, its a balance factor with Luke, where Cam can enjoy the game, bring the team together. If you don't like the dancing and the picture taking, beat them. That's the satisfaction. They don't need to change anything. Expect another big year from Cam as he solidifies himself as top QB of the NFC South.
Stat Prediction: 4,000 yards 35 TDs 8 INTs, 500 rushing yards 9 TDs, and a bunch of happy little kids, that sounds different than anticipated.
3. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
Matt Ryan could very easily be jumped by Jameis in the next few years, but not quite yet, Regardless, Ryan had a mediocre year and really had no break out performances. With a dynamic running attack and a God mode receiver, Ryan's numbers didn't really change. Throwing for 21 TDs and 16 INTs, I expected Ryan to take care of a the ball and rally this team during the 6 game losing streak. But both of those things just didn't happen. Interesting enough, of those 6 losses, 4 were by less than a touchdown. Maybe that's an indicator that the Falcon's didn't play any worse in the second half of the season, they just didn't get any better and weren't catching the breaks they were getting the in the first half of the season.
Stat Prediction: 4,500 Yards 22 TDs 14 INTs and another Georgia team that lets every body down (LOOKING AT YOU 2008 BULLDOGS!)
4. Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccanneers
With the explosion of Doug Martin, I really expected to see Jameis improve but the numbers don't indicate that. In the first half of the season Winston went for 10 TDs and 7 Ints with a 3-5 record. The second half Winston was 12Tds and 8 Ints with a 3-5 record. Stats never tell the whole story, but I would've liked to see him take care of the ball a bit better with a top 4 rushing attack. Nonetheless, rookies are gonna rookie and I really like Winston for his leadership and ability. He is a talented quarterback who could easily pass by Matt Ryan in the next couple season and I expect the Buccaneers to be competing for a division within the next 2-4 years. No real additions to this offense as the additions and draft focus was on the defense. I expect a 7-9, possibly 8-8 season this year for Tampa Bay.
Stat Prediction: 4,100 Yards 25 TD 13 INTs and comparisons to other African-American quarterbacks who play nothing like Jameis. (uhhh...no racial?)