Predicting the Records for each team in the NFC South for 2023
The 2023 NFL season kicks off within 62 days as each team in the NFC South are looking to improve immensely from last season. The NFC South was the only division where the winner had a losing record in 2022, but each team in the division has made substantial improvements in the offseason so far. In this article, the Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Carolina Panthers will be assessed and their records are predicted.
4. Carolina Panthers (2022 record, 7-10)
The Panthers will have a new face under center as they drafted quarterback Bryce Young with the first pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. Carolina is also going to be welcoming former Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich as their head man.
Carolina finished 7-10 last season with the likes of Baker Mayfield, P.J Walker, and Sam Darnold as quarterbacks. They now have one of the best quarterback prospects in recent memory in Young.
Reich and the Panthers open up their season facing three playoff teams from 2022 (Seattle week 3, Minnesota week 4 and Miami week 6) prior to an early bye in week 7.
After the bye, their schedule gets somewhat manageable with matchups against the Houston Texans (week 8), Indianapolis Colts (week 9), Chicago Bears (week 10) and a showdown with Dak Prescott and the Cowboys (week 11).
Carolina’s main focus for 2023 should be to develop their young star quarterback in Young. Expect Carolina to finish around 7-10 or 6-11 this year.
3.Atlanta Falcons (2022 record, 7-10)
The 2023 season is a “show me something” year for Atlanta Falcons head coach Arthur Smith, as he approaches his third season in Atlanta. Smith has yet to guide the Falcons to the postseason, as he has led the Falcons to two straight 7-10 records (‘21-‘22). Atlanta’s bye week arrives at week 11 and prior to then, their first seven of ten matchups are against teams that didn’t make the postseason a year ago.
After their bye, Atlanta’s remaining schedule features teams that finished below .500 in 2022 such as the Carolina Panthers (week 15), Indianapolis Colts (week 16) and the Chicago Bears (week 17) just to name a few.
Atlanta made substantial improvements on both sides of the ball during the off-season, and with second-year quarterback Desmond Ridder under center, expect the Falcons to do better in 2023.
With a relatively delicate schedule and a head coach that must prove he’s the right man for the job, Atlanta will probably finish 8-9, missing the postseason.
2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2022 record, 8-9 *won division)
The 2022 NFC South champions will be without seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady under center for the first time since the 2019 season.
Second-year head coach Todd Bowles will be paired with former Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield in hopes to repeat as divisional champions. Tampa Bay has an early bye in week 5 and prior to the intermission, they have important matchups against the reigning NFC North champions Minnesota Vikings in week 1 and a date with the current NFC Champions Philadelphia Eagles in week 3.
Tampa Bay’s remaining schedule features ten of thirteen squads that didn’t make the 2022 postseason. The 2022 NFC South champions have key matchups as they pay a visit to Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills in week 8 and then travel to San Francisco to battle the 49ers in week 11.
The Buccaneers suffered from a depleted offensive line and a non-existent running game in 2022, but with returning center Ryan Jensen anchoring the offensive line, look for running back Rachaad White to post productive numbers for the Buccaneers’ offense.
Bowles and the Buccaneers are looking to secure their third consecutive NFC South title, but their success will largely depend on Mayfield. Tampa Bay will likely finish with a 9-8 record without a playoff appearance.
1.New Orleans Saints (2022 record, 7-10)
The New Orleans Saints will be entering their 57th NFL regular season in 2023, as they aim to win their first NFC South title since 2020.
The Super Bowl 44 champions will have former Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr as their franchise passer along with second-year head coach Dennis Allen calling the shots. New Orleans has a late bye in week 11, as their first seven of ten matchups are against teams that didn’t play postseason football.
The Saints have prominent matchups as they travel to New England to take on the Patriots in week 5 and then battle playoff rivals Minnesota Vikings in week 12 prior to the break.
New Orleans has immense talent on both sides of the ball with a solid quarterback in Carr, a strong receiving core with wideouts such as Chris Olave and Rashid Shaheed, and a dynamic rushing attack with five-time pro-bowler Alvin Kamara and the 2022 rushing touchdown leader Jamaal Williams.
The Saints defense ranked fifth in 2022 and they will be getting back all-pro cornerback Marshon Lattimore after only playing seven games last season. New Orleans are favorited to win the south and with a feasible set of opponents for 2023, expect the Saints to sport a 10-7 record along with a divisional crown.