While we only had two games to focus on this week in the NFC South they both had some very memorable moments. The Panthers were on their bye, but we left the weekend with the division being as close as its been in a while. The Saints now control the top of the division at 6-3 the the Falcons a half game behind at 5-3, the Bucs at 4-4 followed by the Panthers at 2-6. There's a very real chance we could see two 10+ win teams out of the division despite the brutal schedule the division has faced. That being said, we have plenty more weeks to wax poetically about the future of the division. Let's focus now on what was great, terrible and confusing in week 9.
The Awesome- Julio Jones
If you needed proof that Jones was worth the high price the Falcons' paid for him then look no further than this scintillating touchdown catch against the Colts. For a receiver who was said to have unreliable hands coming out of Alabama he's shown himself to be the opposite thus far as he's making great catch after catch. It's bizarre to think he took this long to get on the scoreboard, but today's two touchdowns were the first of his NFL career.
Time will tell whether the investment of two first round picks in Jones was truly worth it, but as it stands he's looking like a very, very special wide receiver.
The Abysmal- Tracy Porter's Injury
While 'abysmal' should probably be replaced with 'scary', regardless the worst part of the weekend in the NFC South was seeing the Saints DB lying on the field for 10 minutes with teammates and fans unsure of the seriousness of his neck injury. If you are interested in seeing the video you can see it here, but be warned it's pretty hard to see. Thankfully Porter moved his extremities and it appears there's no neurological impairment, but it's a grim reminder of just how dangerous this game is and a small example that the league's move towards player safety is warranted.
The Asinine- Curtis Painter's double incomplete pass
While not technically an NFC South moment this hilarious play summed up the Colts entire season perfectly. Take a second to go watch it now and then come back...
Not only did the Colts QB hit the DT, but he showed cat-like reflexes to catch the ball and then turn around and reaffirm his abilities as a QB by throwing another incompletion. While I doubt this counts as two incomplete passes on the stat sheet, it probably should. At least it's making easy to exceed expectations for Andrew Luck who appears likely to head to Indianapolis in 2012.