One prediction for every NFC South team in 2022

The NFC South has been one that's seen each team over the past 15-years take their turn at the top, most recently with Tampa Bay, but we've seen New Orleans win a Super Bowl, as well as both Carolina and Atlanta have their up years, with MVP's and an appearance in the big game from both franchises. This year however, there's a clear pecking order in the NFC South, with the Buccaneers looking to get back to the Super Bowl again, while Carolina and Atlanta just try to find their way back to their winning ways of the past.

It's going to be a fun division to watch, and even though Tom Brady is back and will likely (somehow) be at his best again at age 45, but beyond that, we'll see three teams scrambling to be at their best and potentially make it to one of the three Wild Card spots, unless something wild happens. So here is one prediction for every NFC South team as we approach the beginning of the 2022 NFL season. 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Tom Brady leads a team to his 11th Super Bowl

At this point, there's absolutely no debating that Tom Brady is the greatest Quarterback in NFL history, and in his 45th year on earth, no one should be shocked when TB12 takes the Buccaneers to his 11th Super Bowl appearance, and second with this team since joining them in 2020. He's not as physically gifted as he was 15 years ago, but right now, the argument could be that Brady is as good as he has ever been, and with a stacked team around him on both sides of the ball, he's going to get the chance to show that again.

In his career so far, Brady is 7-3 in the Super Bowl, and while it's one of the hardest things to do in sports, this team is set up for him to succeed again, and with one of the easier divisions in the NFL, it's almost a slam dunk that this team wins the NFC South. There's no telling when he's going to slow down and stop playing, but right now, the Bucs have weapons on both sides of the ball, and if Tom stays healthy, it should be another incredibly fun year to be a Buccaneers fan. 

Atlanta Falcons - Drake London is a finalist for Offensive Rookie of the Year

The Atlanta Falcons could have gone in plenty of directions when they sat on the board at No. 8 in the 2022 NFL Draft, but they opted to add another weapon on the outside after a Calvin Ridley suspension, and with their choice of every receiver in the draft, they chose USC's Drake London. Whether it's Marcus Mariota or rookie Desmond Ridder at QB, they'll be sending plenty of targets to the outside threat, as well as tight end Kyle Pitts, and if the flashes we've seen at training camp are any indication, London is going to be a star in the NFL.

London has shown that along with his size, he has speed, fantastic footwork and great hands, and if the Falcons can get some kind of consistent QB play, then he will become their top target immediately, and effect every single game possible. With such a deep receiver class, some talented running backs and Kenny Pickett likely to start in 2022, this is going to be a tough race, and while Drake has a great chance to win OROY, he will certainly be in the top-three regardless come seasons end. 

New Orleans Saints - Behind Jameis Winston, the Saints claim the final Wild Card spot

So many teams over the past few years have had to deal with life after their franchise QB, and like the Steelers, the Saints are now truly coming to grips with life after Drew Brees, as Jameis Winston, former Tampa Bay Buccaneer is now the official QB1 down in New Orleans. Despite the criticism that he received while in Tampa Bay, Winston was a very talented and productive QB, and now, with the team turned over to him, it's hist chance to prove once again that he can be a Pro Bowl level Quarterback in the NFL.

This team has the talent to be a Wild Card squad, but with so many new pieces, it will be very intriguing to see how the team and the city react to no Drew Brees or Sean Payton for the first time in recent memory. With Winston leading the way, a brand new Taysom Hill at tight end and talent all over the field however, they're good enough if healthy to make the playoffs, and I expect them to take a step in 2022 towards becoming a genuine Super Bowl threat once again. 

Carolina Panthers - Christian McCaffrey wins Comeback Player of the Year

The Carolina Panthers have been searching for a Quarterback since MVP Cam Newton left town, and this year, they've got a QB battle of two former first round picks, Sam Darnold and Baker Mayfield. Mayfield no doubt has the edge so far, but both guys played well in pre-season Week 1, so however that plays out will be key to this teams success, but the most important thing for this squad is the health of elite running back, Christian McCaffrey. 

The former All-Pro back has had troubles staying on the field the past few years, but when he can stay healthy, CMC is absolutely deadly in both the passing game and the ground game, and if he's healthy, it will allow whichever QB is running the show to lead a balanced and lethal attack. After years of struggling with his healthy, all seems right with the Panthers back this year, and if he can appear in 90% of the teams game and get back to anywhere near 100% of his former self, he will win Comeback Player of the Year, even though Carolina will struggle in a tough NFC. 

Photo Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports