NFC South: Football at its finest
In the NFL, four teams make up four divisions in the NFC, and in the AFC alike. Every divisional team will slug it out like a heavyweight boxing match against each other, two times a year, in order to determine the top seed. The top seed from each division is guaranteed a position in the NFL postseason. Each year a potent champion materializes into The Super Bowl Championship Team after an amazing, consistent, and hard fought performance throughout the postseason. According to NFL players and coaches, one win in the NFL is a great achievement; one playoff win is even greater, and a Super Bowl win is legendary. It is a professional sport, and they do get paid to win, but winning is easier said than done in the likes of the NFL. Any divisional game is considered a big win because they are the games that determine the tie-breaker slots regarding the post season, and they occur two times a year for each team involved. Inside of every division, the fights to win divisional games are instant classics annually. The fact is no different for the Atlanta Falcons, the Carolina Panthers, the New Orleans Saints, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers; the four teams that make up the NFC South.
Rookie members inside of the NFC South division that have proven their selves ready for Week 1 in the NFL season, are about to learn a very valuable lesson. They will learn that life in the NFC south is one that Little Orphan Annie used to sing about while mopping the floor. It is indeed a hard knock life in the NFC South. It is hard to differentiate each teams true rival team; inside the division, they all play like rivals. In six of the last 10 NFL seasons, an NFC South team has played for the NFC Championship game. In 2003, The Carolina Panthers advanced through the NFC Championship game to play for the Super Bowl, only to suffer defeat after a fantastic effort; they again made it to the NFC Championship just two seasons later in 2005. In 2004, The Atlanta Falcons played in the NFC Championship game in the postseason, and again in the 2012 season. The 2006 New Orleans Saints played in the NFC Championship game, and were the only NFC South franchise that was able to bring home the Lombardi Trophy with their 2009 squad; all of the units combined represent 60 percent of the NFC Championship games for the last decade of NFL seasons. One year prior to the ten year cusp, in 2002, The Tampa Bay Buccaneers advanced through the NFC Championship game to become World Champions; leaving a pretty weighty statistic even on a fifteen year scale.
Expect this season to be no different; history does not typically repeat itself in the NFL, unless your team is in the NFC South. This year in New Orleans, Sean Peyton is returning at head coach, coming back after a suspension following previous allegations. Sean Peyton is known to have precision play calling skills, with a precision team to compliment, and execute. The advanced team is constantly a threat to all contenders. Cam Newton is still trying to prove himself elite, and Ron Rivera the head coach also would like to obtain some job security after coming off of a 7-9 season in 2012. Expect them to put up a fight on both sides of the ball throughout the season. Similar to The Carolina Panthers; in Tampa Bay, Greg Schiano would like to establish his talent as an NFL head coach following a murky 7-9 2012 regular season; and fourth year starting Quarterback Josh Freeman is ready to unleash his potential. Josh Freeman has been improving statistically and situation ally over the last three years. His size makes defenses struggle to tackle and sack him, and his accuracy with good decision making is becoming a threat to all of the teams in the league. The Atlanta Falcons are returning off of a Super Bowl hopeful 13-3 season, where they lost in the NFC Championship game in a marginal defeat. The Atlanta Falcons are returning with most of the 2012 team intact, but they have added Stephen Jackson from the St. Lois Rams on offense, and Osi Umenyiora to assist in havoc style defense. Future hall of fame member Tony Gonzalez also agreed to return for one more year in hopes to achieve a Super Bowl ring before he retires. The Falcons will have a target on their backs after obtaining a first round post season bye due to their number one overall NFC seed at the conclusion of the 2012 season. All four teams have a lot to fight for, and may the best team win. It will certainly be a whole lot of fun to watch, hopefully amidst the heat of the moment, the teams will be able to keep it classy. The air is electric on the field during NFC South division games, and the games always have the kind of setting where the gloves can come off in the blink of an eye, and often do. Those NFL fans that do not typically watch NFC South divisional football games should make it a point to witness some of the proverbial fist fights this season, for it is NFL football at its finest.