NFC South preview, predictions and projected records

No division in football has experienced more upheaval than the NFC South, where every team will enter the 2022 season with either a new head coach or a new projected starting quarterback. The team with the biggest claims to stability? This is the one whose coach and Hall of Fame tight end retired — and whose quarterback retired, too, only to reverse course after 40 days and then take part of the summer off.

The change at the top of the Bucs doesn’t have to be that radical, because Todd Bowles was Tampa Bay’s defensive coordinator for three seasons before being promoted to head coach Bruce Arians. And Tom Brady, 45, is the best stabilizer. Any arm-twisting beyond his age seems silly given his continued level of excellence; last year he threw for a career-high 5,316 yards. But it’s fair to wonder if he’ll be affected by Rob Gronkowski’s retirement and questionable receiver status Chris Godwinwho tore his ACL last December and is likely to miss time early in the season or due to season-ending injuries to two interior linemen, center –Ryan Jensen and left guard Aaron Stinney. The NFL’s fifth-best point defense returns largely intact, with the only change of note being that veteran free agent Akiem Hicks replaces Ndamukong Suh on the defensive line.

Leave a Comment