The Pi-Rate Ratings

August 31, 2013

2013 NFC South Division Preview

2013 N F C South Preview

The South Division of the NFC was a one-team race last year with the Atlanta Falcons quickly separating from the pack and cruising to a six-game defeat of the other three teams.  It was expected after the New Orleans Saints entered the season with coaching suspensions.  By the time the Saints started to turn things around, it was too late.

 

2013 should be an interesting season.  The Falcons once again look like the class of the division, but of course with scheduling, they will play two other first place teams from last year, while New Orleans and Carolina face easier competition in those two games.  Tampa Bay also faces an easier schedule, but we do not believe the Buccaneers can rock the boat in the South this year.

 

Next to Green Bay, Atlanta has the best passing attack in the NFC.  Matt Ryan is quickly becoming one of the elite passers in the league, while Julio Jones, Roddy White, and the ageless wonder, tight end Tony Gonzalez, form a top-notch receiving corps.  If Steven Jackson has one more good year in his legs, the Falcons just may be ready to advance that final step to the Super Bowl.

 

New Orleans had the best offense in the NFC last year, by 25 points over the second best team.  On the other hand, the Saints gave up the most points in the NFC by 10 points.  Thus, the Saints finished 7-9.  Can new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan work magic on a defense that played like 11 matadors last year?  On top of the improvement needed, the Saints will switch from a 4-3 to a 3-4 alignment.  And, they will not get much immediate help from their draft class.

 

Carolina has enough talent now to contend for a playoff berth.  Cam Newton may not complete 60% of his passes, but he will average more per completion than average.  He will also be hard on enemy pass rushers with his ability to make them miss.  A nice defensive rush that might result in a sack on most QBs, could very well result in a 10 to 20 yard gain on a scramble.

 

The Panthers will have to get by without Jonathan Stewart for six games after he was placed on the PUP list.  DeAngelo Williams is starting to show his age, so the Panthers may struggle unless rookie Kenjon Barner can take up the slack.  The receiving corps is average at best, and the offensive line is better blocking for the run than the pass.

 

The Panthers should be improved this year because their defense looks much better, especially in the line and at linebacker.  Look for rookie tackle Star Lotulelei to be a key right away.  He won’t make 10 tackles a game, but he will command double blocks on several plays, and that will allow the linebackers to look much better.

 

Tampa Bay overachieved last year, and they still finished below .500.  The Buccaneers are average or below average at every unit on offense and defense.  Quarterback Josh Freeman won’t appear on the all-pro list, and he won’t get a lot of hype, but he can pass for 300 yards on many Sundays.  However, he tends to force passes and threw too many interceptions last year.  He will continue to stretch defenses with longer passes, because that will open up running lanes for second year star back Doug Martin, one of the biggest surprises in the league last year.  Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams make up a talented one-two punch at wideout, but the Bucs need more skill players to emerge.  The defense does not have enough talent to compete for a playoff spot this year.

 

We have added a new wrinkle to our coverage this year.  In the past, friends of ours have asked us if we knew how to recreate the exact colors of their favorite team so that they could print those colors on their computer.  We have found this information from multiple sites in the last couple of months, and we are going to show you the RGB numbers so you can replicate those colors.  These can be used in graphics programs, but it can easily be used in MS-Word and MS-Excel.

 

Here are the official colors for the NFC South.

West

Color

Red

Green

Blue

Atlanta Falcons

Black

17

28

36

 

Red

198

12

48

 

White

255

255

255

Carolina Panthers

Panther Blue

0

136

206

 

Black

17

28

36

 

Metallic Silver

133

136

139

New Orleans Saints

Old Gold

150

130

82

 

Black

17

28

36

 

White

255

255

255

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Red

167

25

48

 

Pewter

102

92

79

 

Black

17

28

36

 

 

2012 Final Standings & PiRate Ratings

NFC South

PiRate

Mean

Biased

W-L-T

Pts

Opp

Atlanta Falcons

104.7

105.6

106.3

13-3-0

419

299

New Orleans Saints

100.7

100.2

99.9

7-9-0

461

454

Carolina Panthers

99.7

100.0

101.4

7-9-0

357

363

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

98.6

97.6

96.8

7-9-0

389

394

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2013 Preseason PiRate Ratings

South

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Atlanta Falcons

103.6

106.6

103.1

New Orleans Saints

101.7

102.0

101.6

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

98.5

98.1

98.7

Carolina Panthers

98.4

97.7

98.1

 

PiRate Previews

Team

Atlanta Falcons

               
Head Coach

Mike Smith

O-Coord.

Dirk Koetter

D-Coord.

Mike Nolan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Projected Starting Lineup

Position

Player

 

Offense

Quarterback

Matt Ryan

Running Back

Steven Jackson

Fullback

Bradie Ewing

Wide Receiver

Julio Jones

Wide Receiver

Roddy White

Tight End

Tony Gonzalez

Left Tackle

Sam Baker

Left Guard

Justin Blalock

Center

Peter Konz

Right Guard

Garrett Reynolds

Right Tackle

Lamar Holmes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Defense

Left End

Kroy Biermann

Left Tackle

Jonathan Babineaux

Right Tackle

Corey Peters

Right End

Osi Umenyiora

Sam LB

Stephen Nicholas

Mike LB

Akeem Dent

Will LB

Sean Weatherspoon

Left CB

Asante Samuel

Right CB

Desmond Trufant

Strong Safety

William Moore

Free Safety

Thomas Decoud

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Special Teams

Kicker

Matt Bryant

Punter

Matt Bosher

K-Return

Jacquizz Rodgers

P-Return

Dominique Franks

 

 

Predictions

 

Record

12-4

Division

1st

 

Team

Carolina Panthers

               
Head Coach

Ron Rivera

O-Coord.

Mike Shula

D-Coord.

Sean McDermott

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Projected Starting Lineup

Position

Player

 

Offense

Quarterback

Cam Newton

Running Back

DeAngelo Williams

Fullback

Mike Tolbert

Wide Receiver

Steve Smith

Wide Receiver

Brandon LaFell

Tight End

Greg Olsen

Left Tackle

Jordan Gross

Left Guard

Amini Silatolu

Center

Ryan Kalil

Right Guard

Garry Williams

Right Tackle

Byron Bell

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Defense

Left End

Charles Johnson

Left Tackle

Dwan Edwards

Nose Tackle

Star Lotulelei

Right End

Greg Hardy

Sam LB

Thomas Davis

Mike LB

Luke Kuechly

Will LB

Jon Beason

Left CB

Drayton Florence

Right CB

Captain Munnerlyn

Strong Safety

Mike Mitchell

Free Safety

Charles Godfrey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Special Teams

Kicker

Graham Gano

Punter

Brad Nortman

K-Return

Ted Ginn

P-Return

Ted Ginn

 

 

Predictions

 

Record

8-8

Division

3rd

Team

New Orleans Saints

               
Head Coach

Sean Payton

O-Coord.

Pete Carmichael

D-Coord.

Rob Ryan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Projected Starting Lineup

Position

Player

 

Offense

Quarterback

Drew Brees

Running Back

Pierre Thomas

Fullback

Jed Collins

Wide Receiver

Lance Moore

Wide Receiver

Marques Colston

Tight End

Jimmy Graham

Left Tackle

Charles Brown

Left Guard

Ben Grubbs

Center

Brian De La Puente

Right Guard

Jahri Evans

Right Tackle

Zach Strief

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Defense

Left End

Akiem Hicks

Nose Tackle

Brodrick Bunkley

Right End

Cameron Jordan

Left OLB

Junior Galette

Left ILB

Jonathan Vilma

Right ILB

Curtis Lofton

Right OLB

Martez Wilson

Left CB

Jabari Greer

Right CB

Keenan Lewis

Strong Safety

Roman Harper

Free Safety

Malcolm Jenkins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Special Teams

Kicker

Garrett Hartley

Punter

Thomas Morstead

K-Return

Darren Sproles

P-Return

Darren Sproles

 

 

Predictions

 

Record

9-7

Division

2nd

Team

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

               
Head Coach

Greg Schiano

O-Coord.

Mike Sullivan

D-Coord.

Bill Sheridan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Projected Starting Lineup

Position

Player

 

Offense

Quarterback

Josh Freeman

Running Back

Doug Martin

Fullback

Erik Lorig

Wide Receiver

Vincent Jackson

Wide Receiver

Mike Williams

Tight End

Luke Stocker

Left Tackle

Donald Penn

Left Guard

Carl Nicks

Center

Jeremy Zuttah

Right Guard

Davin Joseph

Right Tackle

Dernar Dotson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Defense

Left End

Da’Quan Bowers

Left Tackle

Gerald McCoy

Right Tackle

Gary Gibson

Right End

Adrian Clayborn

Sam LB

Dekoda Watson

Mike LB

Mason Foster

Will LB

Lavonte David

Left CB

Darrelle Revis

Right CB

Leonard Johnson

Strong Safety

Mark Barron

Free Safety

Dashon Goldson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Special Teams

Kicker

Lawrence Tynes

Punter

Michael Koenen

K-Return

Mike James

P-Return

Eric Page

 

 

Predictions

 

Record

6-10

Division

4th

 

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