HomeFootball DirtNobody wants to be the winner of the terrible NFC South

Nobody wants to be the winner of the terrible NFC South

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As I write this, the current leader of the NFC South is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They are 6-7 and only lead the division by virtue of a narrow tiebreaker over the rival Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints. Only New Orleans possesses a positive point differential among the trio. We are nearly in mid-December, and a division leader doesn’t even have a winning record, nor are we clear on who the favorite should be. It’s almost fair to wonder whether we are watching one of the worst squads of teams (you were not forgotten or spared, Carolina Panthers) in any NFL regular season ever. What the heck happened here? And which unfortunate non-division-winning playoff team will be the biggest victim of the NFC South champion’s automatic playoff spot? Ugh, that hurts to read. And people want to get rid of the NFC South pic.twitter.com/xhYVaPQIXM — Sickos Committee (@SickosCommittee) December 10, 2023 For one, even when we include the Panthers (especially?), there is zero starting-caliber quarterback play in the entire division. Bryce Young looks like an unmitigated bust who is the clear victim of an unfortunate first-year mix of chaos. The next time Desmond Ridder avoids a backbreaking red-zone turnover might be the first. Baker Mayfield is a glorified caretaker with a definitive ceiling of “OK, sure.” Derek Carr is Schrodinger’s Quarterback — a player who seemingly has the talent to be a superstar but is almost always curiously lost. What do any of these guys do well? What can they hang their hat on? Someone, please enlighten me if you have any ideas. None of these South teams have much stability at head coach, either. Frank Reich was relieved of his duties midseason. It took Arthur Smith over two months to realize it’s wise to give more touches to your three top-10 draft picks on offense. Dennis Allen is a defensive guru in over his head with a team that struggles to score points. And Todd Bowles, bless his heart, has a definitive ceiling on his coaching, just like Mayfield. If you really think about it, they’re a match made in heaven. There are more extenuating factors, of course. None of these four teams are exceptionally talented or rife with young difference-makers. They are all mediocre underachievers who are woefully underprepared for the rigors of 2023 NFL football. But when we boil this down, the entire NFC South has the worst mix of quarterback and coaching with each participating team of anyone in the league. Bar none. That is the reason why this division will push forward a squad almost certainly not worthy of the playoffs in January. That is the reason why the football this group provides is usually of an atrocious, unwatchable quality that puts people to sleep. It’s a shame, to be sure. Because when we have this sort of “dud” division, it makes you wonder whether anyone even wants to win the NFC South. Though, I guess that’s likened more to confirmation bias after watching any of the Buccaneers, Falcons, Saints, or Panthers attempt to play football. Elsewhere in this week’s NFL Awards, the Jets, Texans, Vikings, and Raiders all seemed deadset on setting back offensive football in their own unique way. Meanwhile, a Ravens’ punt returner provided one of the best, most dramatic moments of the entire season. Let’s hop in, dearest readers. Best tribute to an NFL icon: How the league collectively mourned Frank Wychek A three-time Pro Bowler and one of the architects of the famous “Music City Miracle,” Tennessee Titans legend Frank Wycheck tragically died at the age of 52 on Saturday. Given the ensuing tribute, he was clearly a beloved pro football figure. More from our Christian D’Andrea: “Several legends have pulled on the navy and light blues of the Tennessee Titans since the team relocated from Houston to Nashville. While that includes stars like Eddie George, Steve McNair and Derrick Henry, few have ever matched the production-to-fan-reaction tightrope tight end Frank Wycheck pulled off over nine years with the franchise — and seven in Tennessee.” Best betting turnaround: Zach Wilson, by coming through with a shocking second half After that awful first half, you would’ve been forgiven if you wrote off any exciting measure of football in the second stanza. If this was the case, you overlooked the legendary Zach Wilson (?) who enjoyed the game of his life (???). As a result, Wilson helped guide Gang Green to a decisive 24-point win. Our Prince Grimes says this was one of the wilder ways to reach a pregame over: “From there, Wilson took over, completing 18-of-21 passes for 209 yards. In the process, he put anyone who bet over on the total on his back, helping to push the score past the 33.5-point line in a 30-6 win. It’s the first game to go over the total after a scoreless first half in the Wild Card era, according to Action Network’s Evan Abrams.” Worst display of offensive football to end the day: the Vikings and Raiders If you thought the Jets and Texans put everyone on the fast track to Snoozeville, the Vikings and Raiders were determined to one-up them. Minnesota overcame Las Vegas by a final score of … 3-0. I mean, c’mon. Are we seeing the forward pass become a legitimate struggle more than usual or something? I have no further comment. Vikings-Raiders tied the NFL record for lowest scoring game (3-0) 🤯 pic.twitter.com/LfeAzJVs7n — Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) December 11, 2023 Worst boiled-over tension: Whatever the heck’s happening with Derek Carr The Saints sit near .500 and remain in play for that mentioned awful NFC South. But with how Derek Carr has played intermittently this year, it sure feels like there might be some lingering resentment from his teammates. Take Erik McCoy in this weird exchange, for example: #Saints C Erik McCoy getting heated after a Derek Carr sack…pic.twitter.com/Oq5q5vXxpF — Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) December 10, 2023 Best broadcast slip-up: Tony Romo, by inadvertently referring to Taylor Swift as Travis Kelce’s “wife” Tony Romo doesn’t seem to be close personal friends with either of Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift. But was there something more to him referring to Kelce and Swift as if they’re already married? What does he know??? (Probably nothing and this was just a mistake.) Tony Romo calls Taylor Swift Travis Kelce’s wife by mistake pic.twitter.com/NGUxvMhWMn — Tanner Phifer Highlight Hub – @TannerPhiferNFL (@hub_pf40320) December 10, 2023 Best walk-off punt-return touchdown: Tylan Wallace, who iced a clutch Ravens’ win The Ravens are starting to resemble a team of destiny. Even while being ravaged by injuries, Baltimore sits in prime position for the AFC’s top seed and sole postseason bye. There’s no other logical conclusion after watching Tylan Wallace take back a game-winning punt return touchdown to beat the Los Angeles Rams in overtime. According to Lamar Jackson, the walk-off play was like a movie to him. It’s really hard to disagree: Tylan Wallace takes it all the way for a walk-off punt return TD! 🔥 pic.twitter.com/VWBqUd82VN — NFL (@NFL) December 10, 2023 Funniest pregame stampede: Cowboys fans, who wanted to watched SNF ASAP Look, the word fan is short for “fanatic.” As avid followers of sports and football, we are not usually known for rational, well-reasoned behavior. That said, this pregame stampede in Dallas to watch the Cowboys battle the rival Philadelphia Eagles is absolutely hilarious. Folks, the game and your seats aren’t going anywhere if you just walk! Doors have opened at AT&T Stadium for Cowboys vs. Eagles pic.twitter.com/4RbM6TuCc7 — Jon Machota (@jonmachota) December 10, 2023 Worst wardrobe malfunction: Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who needed new pants Usually, if something’s wrong with their equipment, NFL players leave a game to fix their cleats or their helmets. I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone need completely new pants like Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Just an unfortunate moment to capture on camera: Clyde Edwards-Helaire is questionable to return (PANTS) pic.twitter.com/vgBcfu2rmR — Christian D’Andrea (@TrainIsland) December 10, 2023 Worst case of lost composure: DK Metcalf, by getting ejected from Seahawks-49ers The Seahawks have lost five of their last six games. Their season is in a complete tailspin. But it’s not over. They can still qualify for the playoffs with a strong finish. Unfortunately, after losing his cool in two separate instances during Sunday’s loss to the 49ers, DK Metcalf might not be prepared for that…

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