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NFL Week 5 -- Jets at Falcons
It wasn't supposed to be like this. And no, we aren't referring to the New York Jets' surprising 2-2 start in the face of league-basement expectations. We mean the Atlanta Falcons, whose 30-23 loss to the New England Patriots dropped them to 1-3 -- causing them to match their loss total from a season ago. What's up with Atlanta? What to make of New York's first four games?
Who's the best in the NFC?
With apologies to the NFC East, whose season did not start until Sunday night, the NFC's major powers -- at least according to the Super Bowl odds -- all played Sunday afternoon. Early on, the Saints held off a late Falcons goal-to-go to open the season 1-0, a nice development, considering New Orleans' 0-4 start a year ago. Seattle, meanwhile, slogged through a 12-7 win over the improved Panthers. In the late game, the Seahawks' NFC West nemesis, San Francisco, outlasted the Packers 34-28, thanks in large part to Colin Kaepernick's 412 passing yards and three TDs. What does all this mean for the National Football Conference?
The Saints ceded control of the NFC South last season to the Falcons, but in fairness, they had a good excuse: coach Sean Payton was in the middle of a season-long suspension. Saints linebacker Junior Galette believes it'll be different this season -- he said the Saints "'want to dominate the division." That's a pretty bold statement, considering just how bad New Orleans' defense was last season, but he does have history on his side: Since 2006, the Saints are 11-3 against the Falcons.
Here's a sampling of what readers had to say in our Facebook conversation on the story:
What do you think? Leave your comments below.Wesley Hitt/Getty Images
NFC South Preview -- 2013
For several years in the NFC South, it's been a back-and-forth battle between the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints, with last season's bout firmly landing in the Falcons' corner (those bounty scandal suspensions certainly didn't help the Saints). Now New Orleans is looking to rebound, Atlanta aims to take that next step (read: the Super Bowl) and those "other" two teams -- the Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- hope to break into the postseason.