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NFC South Report: The Awesome, The Abysmal And The Asinine

In a weekend that had the Bucs abroad the NFC South shone in the US as three out of four teams won their games on this side of the pond. The Carolina Panthers managed to get just their second win of the season and the Saints embarrassed the beleaguered Colts, but it was the Atlanta Falcons that got the most out of their victory rising about the Detroit Lions to head into the bye week on the better side of .500. There were three standout performances this weekend for better or for worse, and they are our awesome, abysmal and asinine.

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The Awesome- New Orleans' offense

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Granted they were playing the utterly terrible Colts, but regardless the Saints put on an absolute clinic on home turf. As a team they finished with 557 yards of total offense, while Drew Brees effortlessly passed for five touchdowns. Peyton Manning could only watch from the sideline as the team he helped foster over the last decade completely crumbled on Bourbon Street, and in the end sucking for Luck could be the only saving grace for Indy in 2011. Regardless, this was about the Saints and just how dynamic their offense is. The addition of Darren Sproles only makes this team more dangerous, and Sean Payton is beginning to look more and more prophetic with his Canton level gushing over TE Jimmy Graham. As it stands the Saints are just making NFL defenses look silly, and football shouldn't be this easy.

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The Abysmal- Tampa Bay trying to run the ball

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It's a good thing Matt Forte and the Bears were willing to show England what an NFL running game looks like, because the Buccaneers had no desire to show off such follies. With LeGarrette Blount unable to play the Bucs carried the ball a laughable 11 times for a more chuckle-worthy 30 yards. When this was coupled with four Josh Freeman interceptions it was all over for the Bucs who couldn't stop the bleeding in foggy London town.

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The Asinine- Cam Newton

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In this instance the 'asinine' is Newton's record breaking pace. The rookie QB ran for his 7th touchdown of the 2011 season tying the all time NFL record for rushing TDs by a rookie quarterback. This was coupled with a near 80% completion mark and no turnovers and Newton is making the NFL look like the game he was meant for. His eyes are now set on Peyton Manning's rookie passing record, and he's on pace to pass for 4,800 yards- over 1,000 more than Peyton's 1998 mark.

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Folks, we have a logjam atop the NFC South. The Falcons, Saints and Bucs all have four wins with the Panthers bringing up the rear at two. This looks like another season where multiple teams could have double-digit win records, and that makes it almost impossible to predict the season.

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Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.