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NFL Standings, NFC South: Mediocrity Becomes Respectability

A week ago all four teams in the NFC South were mired in mediocrity as each organization started the season 0-1. Today the Carolina Panthers stand alone at 0-2, while the rest of the division has pulled level at 1-1. The only thing separating the top three teams is their point differential where New Orleans is a +9, Tampa are a -3 and the Falcons are at a -14.

For three of the four teams, week two meant facing opponents in the stout NFC North. The Panthers had the toughest assignment as they lost to the Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers by a score of 30-23. Not even Cam Newton's second-straight 400-yard passing game would be enough for the Panthers to overcome Aaron Rodgers' offensive onslaught.

For the three winners, their road was a little different. Tampa Bay finally saw LeGarrette Blount get his sea legs as he rushed for 71 yards and two touchdowns in a four-point Bucs win over Minnesota.

New Orleans made a statement against a team who handily beat the Atlanta Falcons last week, as they dismantled the Chicago Bears 30-13. In a game that was all about the quarterbacks Drew Brees was scintillating as he threw for three touchdowns, while Jay Cutler was anything but- completing under 50% of his passes.

Finally in the Sunday night game, the Atlanta Falcons won a nail-biter, 35-31, over the Philadelphia Eagles on the back of four Matt Ryan touchdowns. Michael Vick was playing extremely well, but was forced to leave the game due to a concussion, and when that happened the complexion of the game changed.

After one short week the NFC South went from mediocrity to respectability, and it again proves that the three teams at the top of the standings in the division will be players at the end of the season.

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