Back in 2002, the National Football League realigned from six to eight divisions and made life pretty simple. Four divisions per conference with both the AFC and NFC each housing a north, south, east, and west.
The newly-formed NFC South would house former NFC West rivals in the Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, and Atlanta Falcons, while the Tampa Bay Buccaneers came over from the NFC Central.
And it’s been non-stop fun ever since.
Over the past 12 seasons, this division is the only one of the eight not to have a team capture the top spot two years in a row. In fact, the NFC South’s dozen titles have been perfectly distributed, with the Panthers, Saints, Falcons, and Buccaneers each winning three titles. And we have certainly seen our share of worst to first finishes from this quartet over the years.
It’s also not like this group hasn’t enjoyed any league-wide success. The Bucs (XXXVII) and Saints (XLIV) have each won Super Bowl titles in 2002 and ’09, respectively. The Panthers reached Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2003. The Falcons were the NFC’s top seed in the playoffs twice in a three-year span (2010 and 2012).
So what can we expect in 2014, besides the fact that the Panthers have already been eliminated from winning the NFC South if you go by history?
The order of the teams is based on their 2013 record (included) and order of finish.