While it has only been done once by the New England Patriots, every team dreams of finishing the regular season undefeated. While some are more likely than others, each team in the NFC South has a chance to go 16-0.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
In what could be the most competitive division in football, the NFC South has three teams that have a legitimate shot of going 16-0. All four teams in the division have elite QBs, but three of the quarterbacks have plateaued, while one is still rising.
That is why the Tampa Bay Buccaneers can go undefeated.
Jameis Winston is the key to the Bucs going 16-0, he lead the team to 9 wins last year and should only keep improving. His biggest knock has always been that he throws too many picks, but entering his third season Jameis can finally take the leap to the top tier of quarterbacks.
Not only is Winston a stud, but look at the guys he is throwing the ball to. Mike Evans returns and he is arguably a top 3 receiver in the league. His size and athleticism make it impossible for a corner to guard him one-on-one. So teams decide to use a safety to help out on Evans, right? Enter Desean Jackson, one of the best deep threats in the history of the league.
That is just the receivers, Doug Martin will be suspended for four games, but Winston has more targets in his tight ends. Cameron Brate caught eight touchdowns last year and the team is adding O.J. Howard. Howard fell all the way to 19 in the draft when rumors had him going in the top 10 to the New York Jets.
What if a team was one quarter away from solidifying itself as the best offense of all time before collapsing in the Super Bowl. What if that team is coming back with a year of experience?
That team is the Atlanta Falcons, and they will go 16-0.
Matt Ryan and Julio Jones speak for themselves. Each player ranks in top 5 at their respected positions as the high-powered Falcons offense should have similar production to what it had last year. Kyle Shanahan left for San Francisco but all of the players are returning. Falcons may have to adjust early to Steve Sarkisian, but there is no reason why the Falcons offense cannot be the best in the league.
With such a high powered offense, the Falcons are also adding Takkarist McKinley who gave us this draft day gem.
Takk can also do this…
The Falcons are on a mission to end the embarrassment of blowing a 28-3 lead and that could drive them to finish with a undefeated record.
Cam Newton looked like the future of the league in 2015 before refusing to jump on a fumble during the Super Bowl and took a huge step back last year. The Panthers are looking for revenge and Cam wants to win another MVP.
Yep, Cam looks fine. That is why the Panthers will go 16-0.
Things did not seem right for the Panthers last season when the team fell apart on opening night. Cam had complications with the concussion protocol and was hit like no other quarterback in the league.
Panthers also got hurt last season after the late cut of Josh Norman. Losing your top cornerback put the team in a rough position and the defense never recovered.
The Panthers now have a year to get defense sorted out and added a huge playmaker in Christian McCaffrey. Diana Russini reported that McCaffrey has his own playbook on offense that no other player has. I’m not really sure what this means or how it works, but it sounds cool.
This kid is a beast and is going to play a huge role in why the Panthers go undefeated.
New Orleans Saints
Finally, we have a team that is over the hill and plays no defense. No matter the circumstances, Drew Brees manages to throw for 5,000 yards. Does Brees have one more Super Bowl run in him?
That is why the Saints will go 16-0.
The Saints are going to have a difficult path to a undefeated season, but it is not impossible thanks to the Super Bowl-winning duo of Sean Payton and Drew Brees.
The offense is fine. Michael Thomas, Willie Snead and Ted Ginn jr. will run around defenses and score over 20 points a game no problem. A solid draft netted the Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore and offensive lineman Ryan Ramczyk, each of them can make an immediate impact on the field. The defense has to be just below average and not terrible and the Saints can run away with the division. Only one team in the NFC South has a Super Bowl winning coach and the Saints have him. The Saints went 13-0 in the year the Saints won the Super Bowl, look for them to finish the deal this year.