Tired of the lockout? There are always some interesting numbers when it comes to the NFL both trend-wise and historically. Here’s a look at the good and the bad (and an extra thought or two) when it came to the NFC South last season…Atlanta Falcons (13-3)The Good News: QB Matt Ryan threw more than 3 times as many touchdown passes (28) as interceptions (9) on his way to his first Pro Bowl campaign, and his plus-19 differential was better than his first 2 seasons combined, when he threw 38 TD passes and 25 INTs (plus-13)…<!--more-->RB Michael Turner, whose ’09 campaign was hampered by injuries,  overcame a somewhat slow start to have another productive season. The Falcons’ running back ran for 100-plus yards in 5 of his last 10 games and scored 11 touchdowns, after rushing for just 466 yards and 1 score in his first 6 games and reaching the century mark just once…The Falcons and the Saints were the only 2 teams in the league that started the same 5 players along the offensive line in the same 5 positions for all 16 games in 2010…The Bad News: For all of the progress in the regular season, Ryan’s 2 playoff appearances have been less than memorable. Despite a combined 66.7 completion percentage (46-of-69),the Falcons’ signal-caller has thrown for 385 yards, 3 scores, 4 interceptions, lost 2 fumbles and been sacked 8 times (once for a safety). And 2 of Ryan’s 6 turnovers have been returned for touchdowns…The Falcons totaled a somewhat-respectable 31 sacks (up slightly from 28 in 2009), but 13.0 came from Pro Bowl DE John Abraham, with DT Jonathan Babineaux ranking second on the team with just 4.0 sacks…Just A Thought: Atlanta’s 13-3 record (best in the NFC) marked just the sixth time in the franchise’s 45-year existence that the team had won at least 10 games. The Falcons have now enjoyed 3 straight winning seasons for the first time in their history, but they still have never made consecutive playoff appearances…WR Roddy White caught 30 more passes (115) than he did in ’09 (85) and became the first Falcons’ player to lead the NFL in receptions…Including playoffs, the Falcons are 20-5 at home under head coach Mike Smith dating back to ’08, but 2 of those losses came in their last 3 games at the Georgia Dome, including a 48-21 loss to the Packers in the NFC Divisional Playoffs…New Orleans Saints (11-5)The Good News: The marriage between head coach Sean Payton and QB Drew Brees in the Crescent City has been ideal. Over the last 5 seasons, since both arrived in New Orleans, no quarterback in the league has attempted more passes and totaled more completions, yards and TD passes than Brees, whose 155 scores are tied with Colts’ QB Peyton Manning. Including 3 playoff stints over that span, the Saints have scored 30 or more points in nearly half (39) of their 86 total contests…The Bad News: After finishing with the third-best turnover differential during their Super Bowl campaign of ’09 (plus-11), the Saints slipped to minus-6, second-worst amongst the 2010 playoff teams (Seahawks were minus-9). There were 2 major factors in that swing as QB Drew Brees (22) doubled his interception total from the previous year (11), while the Saints totaled just 25 takeaways, down from 39 in ’09. New Orleans also finished last in the NFL with 9 interceptions, the same total FS Darren Sharper totaled in 2009…Just A Thought: While the Saints followed up their Super Bowl XLIV win with a loss in the NFC Wild Card Playoffs at Seattle, it marked the first time since the 1990-92 seasons that the team made consecutive playoff appearance. All told, the franchise was 3-0 in the postseason in 2009, and now a combined 2-7 during the remainder of the team history…New Orleans’ 11-5 finish marked just the 8th time in the team’s 44-year history that it had won at least 10 games, and their 24 regular-season victories over the last 2 seasons is a franchise record for a2-year span…Tampa Bay Buccaneers (10-6)The Good News:QB Josh Freeman, who in a short time has developed a great reputation for fourth-quarter heroics, made a quantum leap in terms in terms of ball security. The former first-round pick played in 10 games as a rookie in ’09 and not only threw 18 interceptions but fumbled 10 times (losing 2). But in leading his team to a 10-6 mark last season, Freeman reduced his turnover from 20 to 9, throwing just 6 INTs and losing 3-of-8 fumbles…RB LeGarrette Blount, originally signed by the Titans as an undrafted free agent, ran for a team-high 1,007 yards and 6 touchdowns and was the only rookie in the NFL to rush for 1,000-plus yards. Meanwhile, teammate WR Mike Williams caught 65 passes, 11 for scores, meaning the rookie duo accounted for nearly half (17) of the team’s 35 offensive touchdowns…The Buccaneers have now had 4 kickoff returns for touchdowns over the past 4 seasons (2 by Michael Spurlock, 1 by Clifton Smith and 1 by Sammie Stroughter). In the franchise’s first 31 campaigns, no player had ever taken back a kickoff for a score…The Bad News: After finishing dead last in the league by allowing a whopping 158.2 yards per game rushing in 2009, the Buccaneers “improved” to 28th, allowing a not-so-scintillating 131.7 YPG on the ground…Despite getting to opposing quarterbacks 20 times in their final 8 contests, Tampa defenders produced just 26 sacks and were held without a sack in 7-of-16 games…Just A Thought: The Buccaneers’ improvement from 3-13 in 2009 to 10-6 was the biggest jump in the league in terms of victories (+7). Despite the successful campaign, the franchise is just 58-70 the last 8 seasons since winning Super Bowl XXXVII…Starting with the Tony Dungy Era in 1996, the Bucs have had an impressive 59 Pro Bowl selections in 15 seasons, quite a turnaround for a franchise that had totaled 18 invitations in their first 20 seasons of existence, one-third (6) of those by Pro Football Hall of Fame DE Lee Roy Selmon…Carolina Panthers (2-14)The Good News: While the Panthers’ offense was the worst in the NFL, the running game came on strong as the season wore on. Thanks mainly to RB Jonathan Stewart, Carolinaaveraged nearly 140 yards per game rushing in its final 9 games, more than 50 yards per game more (85.6 avg.) than it did in its first 7 contests…DE Charles Johnson came into his own up front, leading all Panthers’ defensive linemen in tackles (73) and sacks (11.5)--the latter eclipsing the total of his first 3 NFL seasons (10.0)…The Bad News: The Panthers totaled an NFL-low 196 points, the 14th time that a team scored fewer than 200 points since the league expanded to a 16-game schedule in 1978. Carolina’s offense also managed just 16 touchdowns, 2 fewer than Texans’ RB Arian Foster (18) and just 1 more than Chiefs’ WR Dwayne Bowe (15). All told, the Panthers scored a total of 17 touchdowns, while committing nearly twice as many turnovers (37)…Carolina’s 3 quarterbacks, Matt Moore, rookie Jimmy Clausen and Brian St. Pierre, combined to throw just 9 touchdown passes in 16 games, equaling the total of Packers’ QB Aaron Rodgers during his 4-game playoff run enroute to winning Super Bowl XLV…Just A Thought: Talk about a long term reversal of sorts. The Panthers were 1-15 in 2001 and 2 seasons later, finished 11-5 and reached Super Bowl XXXVIII. Two seasons ago, Carolina was 12-4 and the NFC’s second-seed in 2008 before finishing 2-14 in ’10…Take it for what it’s worth: in 16 seasons, the Panthers now own a 119-137 lifetime regular-season record, but are 6-4 in the playoffs…