SportsNation Blog ArchivesSN Blog Archives Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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.

More: NFC East | NFC North | NFC West | AFC East | AFC North | AFC South | AFC West

  • Which team will win the NFC South?

    •  
      4%
    •  
      66%
    •  
      5%
    •  
      25%

    Discuss (Total votes: 35,980)

  • Will the Falcons reach the Super Bowl in the next three years?

    •  
      61%
    •  
      39%

    Discuss (Total votes: 11,589)

  • Is Matt Ryan an elite quarterback?

    •  
      70%
    •  
      30%

    Discuss (Total votes: 11,355)

  • Will the Saints make the playoffs this season?

    •  
      64%
    •  
      36%

    Discuss (Total votes: 11,340)

  • Will Cam Newton ever be an elite quarterback?

    •  
      51%
    •  
      49%

    Discuss (Total votes: 10,667)

  • Josh Freeman's contract is up after 2013. Is this Josh Freeman's final year as the Buccaneers' starting quarterback?

    •  
      65%
    •  
      35%

    Discuss (Total votes: 10,458)

Comment »

 

Eric Fisher, Luke Joeckel: offensive linemen, and the first two picks in the 2013 NFL draft. (In case we needed more evidence that the men up front are of paramount importance to football teams.) Now, neither finds himself on the list of top trenchmen -- yet. So until one or both make it, let's sort out the league's best. Click on the images to set your rankings!

NFL offensive linemen

Duane Brown

Duane Brown

T, Texans

Ryan Clady

Ryan Clady

T, Broncos

Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis

T, 49ers

Jahri Evans

Jahri Evans

G, Saints

Mike Iupati

Mike Iupati

G, 49ers

Matt Kalil

Matt Kalil

T, Vikings

Ryan Kalil

Ryan Kalil

C, Panthers

Jake Long

Jake Long

T, Rams

Nick Mangold

Nick Mangold

C, Jets

Logan Mankins

Logan Mankins

G, Patriots

Carl Nicks

Carl Nicks

G, Buccaneers

Russell Okung

Russell Okung

T, Seahawks

Maurkice Pouncey

Maurkice Pouncey

C, Steelers

Mike Pouncey

Mike Pouncey

C, Dolphins

Joe Staley

Joe Staley

T, 49ers

John Sullivan

John Sullivan

C, Vikings

Joe Thomas

Joe Thomas

T, Browns

Max Unger

Max Unger

C, Seahawks

Trent Williams

Trent Williams

T, Redskins

Marshal Yanda

Marshal Yanda

G, Ravens

Your Rankings

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

11.

12.

13.

14.

15.

16.

17.

18.

19.

20.

Comment »

 

Darrelle Revis, the NFL's premier cornerback for several recent seasons, relocated to Tampa in the offseason. Ed Reed, long one of the league's top safeties, also moved. Troy Polamalu, another standout defensive back, stayed put as he attempts to fight off recent injury issues. Are these three stalwarts still the league's best? Or has football's younger DB generation taken over? Click on the images below to set your rankings!

Rank 'Em: MVP | QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | DLs | LBs | Offensive ROY | Defensive ROY

NFL DBs in 2013

Champ Bailey

Champ Bailey

Broncos
2012: 66 tackles, 2 INT

Eric Berry

Eric Berry

Chiefs
2012: 86 tackles, INT

Jairus Byrd

Jairus Byrd

Bills
2012: 76 tackles, 4 FF, 5 INT

Antonio Cromartie

Antonio Cromartie

Jets
2012: 35 tackles, 3 INT

Brandon Flowers

Brandon Flowers

Chiefs
2012: 48 tackles, sack, 3 INT

Dashon Goldson

Dashon Goldson

Buccaneers
2012: 69 tackles, FF, 3 INT

Joe Haden

Joe Haden

Browns
2012: 51 tackles, FF, 3 INT

Johnathan Joseph

Johnathan Joseph

Texans
2012: 57 tackles, 2 INT

Patrick Peterson

Patrick Peterson

Cardinals
2012: 55 tackles, 7 INT

Troy Polamalu

Troy Polamalu

Steelers
2012: 34 tackles, sack, INT

Ed Reed

Ed Reed

Texans
2012: 58 tackles, 4 INT

Darrelle Revis

Darrelle Revis

Buccaneers
2012: 11 tackles, FF, INT

Richard Sherman

Richard Sherman

Seahawks
2012: 64 tackles, 3 FF, sack, 8 INT

Earl Thomas

Earl Thomas

Seahawks
2012: 66 tackles, FF, 3 INT

Charles Tillman

Charles Tillman

Bears
2012: 86 tackles, 10 FF, 3 INT

Eric Weddle

Eric Weddle

Chargers
2012: 97 tackles, sack, 2 FF, 3 INT

Your Rankings

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

11.

12.

13.

14.

15.

16.

Comment »

 

Defense might not be winning championships these days -- the Baltimore Ravens, after all, were fairly middle-of-the-road -- but it certainly doesn't hurt; the Super Bowl runner-up San Francisco 49ers had one of the league's best defenses a season ago, as did many of the league's playoff teams. How do the contenders stack up on that side of the ball in 2013? Click on the logos below to set your rankings!

NFL Defenses

49ers

49ers

2012 YPG Rank: 3rd
2012 PPG Rank: 2nd

Bears

Bears

2012 YPG Rank: 5th
2012 PPG Rank: 3rd

Bengals

Bengals

2012 YPG Rank: 6th
2012 PPG Rank: 8th

Bills

Bills

2012 YPG Rank: 22nd
2012 PPG Rank: 26th

Broncos

Broncos

2012 YPG Rank: 2nd
2012 PPG Rank: 4th

Browns

Browns

2012 YPG Rank: 23rd
2012 PPG Rank: 19th

Buccaneers

Buccaneers

2012 YPG Rank: 29th
2012 PPG Rank: 23rd

Cardinals

Cardinals

2012 YPG Rank: 12th
2012 PPG Rank: 17th

Chargers

Chargers

2012 YPG Rank: 9th
2012 PPG Rank: 16th

Chiefs

Chiefs

2012 YPG Rank: 20th
2012 PPG Rank: 25th

Colts

Colts

2012 YPG Rank: 26th
2012 PPG Rank: 21st

Cowboys

Cowboys

2012 YPG Rank: 19th
2012 PPG Rank: 24th

Dolphins

Dolphins

2012 YPG Rank: 21st
2012 PPG Rank: 7th

Eagles

Eagles

2012 YPG Rank: 15th
2012 PPG Rank: 29th

Falcons

Falcons

2012 YPG Rank: 24th
2012 PPG Rank: 5th

Giants

Giants

2012 YPG Rank: 31st
2012 PPG Rank: 12th

Jaguars

Jaguars

2012 YPG Rank: 30th
2012 PPG Rank: 29th

Jets

Jets

2012 YPG Rank: 8th
2012 PPG Rank: 20th

Lions

Lions

2012 YPG Rank: 13th
2012 PPG Rank: 27th

Packers

Packers

2012 YPG Rank: 11th
2012 PPG Rank: 11th

Panthers

Panthers

2012 YPG Rank: 10th
2012 PPG Rank: 18th

Patriots

Patriots

2012 YPG Rank: 25th
2012 PPG Rank: 9th

Raiders

Raiders

2012 YPG Rank: 18th
2012 PPG Rank: 8th

Rams

Rams

2012 YPG Rank: 14th
2012 PPG Rank: 14th

Ravens

Ravens

2012 YPG Rank: 17th
2012 PPG Rank: 12th

Redskins

Redskins

2012 YPG Rank: 28th
2012 PPG Rank: 22nd

Saints

Saints

2012 YPG Rank: 32nd
2012 PPG Rank: 31st

Seahawks

Seahawks

2012 YPG Rank: 4th
2012 PPG Rank: 1st

Steelers

Steelers

2012 YPG Rank: 1st
2012 PPG Rank: 6th

Texans

Texans

2012 YPG Rank: 7th
2012 PPG Rank: 9th

Titans

Titans

2012 YPG Rank: 27th
2012 PPG Rank: 32nd

Vikings

Vikings

2012 YPG Rank: 16th
2012 PPG Rank: 14th

Your Rankings

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

11.

12.

13.

14.

15.

16.

17.

18.

19.

20.

21.

22.

23.

24.

25.

26.

27.

28.

29.

30.

31.

32.

Comment »

 

Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Peyton Manning still are going strong. Joe Flacco, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan and Matthew Stafford have emerged as prolific passers. And Robert Griffin III, Colin Kaepernick, Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson all are on the doorstep of elite (or very good) status. And we didn't even mention two-time Super Bowl champions Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger. Nor did we acknowledge the whole running-game thing. Our point: Offenses are pretty hot these days in the NFL. Whose is best? Click on the logos below to set your rankings!

NFL Offenses

49ers

49ers

2012 YPG Rank: 11th
2012 PPG Rank: 11th

Bears

Bears

2012 YPG Rank: 28th
2012 PPG Rank: 16th

Bengals

Bengals

2012 YPG Rank: 22nd
2012 PPG Rank: 12th

Bills

Bills

2012 YPG Rank: 19th
2012 PPG Rank: 21st

Broncos

Broncos

2012 YPG Rank: 4th
2012 PPG Rank: 2nd

Browns

Browns

2012 YPG Rank: 25th
2012 PPG Rank: 24th

Buccaneers

Buccaneers

2012 YPG Rank: 9th
2012 PPG Rank: 13th

Cardinals

Cardinals

2012 YPG Rank: 32nd
2012 PPG Rank: 31st

Chargers

Chargers

2012 YPG Rank: 31st
2012 PPG Rank: 20th

Chiefs

Chiefs

2012 YPG Rank: 24th
2012 PPG Rank: 32nd

Colts

Colts

2012 YPG Rank: 10th
2012 PPG Rank: 18th

Cowboys

Cowboys

2012 YPG Rank: 6th
2012 PPG Rank: 15th

Dolphins

Dolphins

2012 YPG Rank: 27th
2012 PPG Rank: 27th

Eagles

Eagles

2012 YPG Rank: 15th
2012 PPG Rank: 29th

Falcons

Falcons

2012 YPG Rank: 8th
2012 PPG Rank: 7th

Giants

Giants

2012 YPG Rank: 14th
2012 PPG Rank: 6th

Jaguars

Jaguars

2012 YPG Rank: 29th
2012 PPG Rank: 30th

Jets

Jets

2012 YPG Rank: 30th
2012 PPG Rank: 28th

Lions

Lions

2012 YPG Rank: 3rd
2012 PPG Rank: 17th

Packers

Packers

2012 YPG Rank: 13th
2012 PPG Rank: 5th

Panthers

Panthers

2012 YPG Rank: 12th
2012 PPG Rank: 18th

Patriots

Patriots

2012 YPG Rank: 1st
2012 PPG Rank: 1st

Raiders

Raiders

2012 YPG Rank: 18th
2012 PPG Rank: 26th

Rams

Rams

2012 YPG Rank: 23rd
2012 PPG Rank: 25th

Ravens

Ravens

2012 YPG Rank: 16th
2012 PPG Rank: 10th

Redskins

Redskins

2012 YPG Rank: 5th
2012 PPG Rank: 4th

Saints

Saints

2012 YPG Rank: 2nd
2012 PPG Rank: 3rd

Seahawks

Seahawks

2012 YPG Rank: 17th
2012 PPG Rank: 9th

Steelers

Steelers

2012 YPG Rank: 21st
2012 PPG Rank: 22nd

Texans

Texans

2012 YPG Rank: 7th
2012 PPG Rank: 8th

Titans

Titans

2012 YPG Rank: 26th
2012 PPG Rank: 23rd

Vikings

Vikings

2012 YPG Rank: 20th
2012 PPG Rank: 14th

Your Rankings

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

11.

12.

13.

14.

15.

16.

17.

18.

19.

20.

21.

22.

23.

24.

25.

26.

27.

28.

29.

30.

31.

32.

Comment »