It might not have been a banner year for the NFC South, but a franchise had to win the division and the preseason favorites, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, prevailed, albeit with a much worse record than expected.
Led by 45-year-old and recent divorcee Tom Brady, the Bucs won the division for the second straight season with a record of 8-9. The other three teams in the division — the Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints — all finished with identical 7-10 records, one game behind Tampa. That means that the NFC South was the lone division to fail to have a team with a winning record. And yet, the Bucs will still host a playoff game against the Dallas Cowboys in the first round of the 2023 NFL playoffs.
The Panthers made it competitive toward the end of the season, despite firing coach Matt Rhule earlier in the campaign, which could make interim coach Steve Wilks a prime candidate to drop the interim tag and take over full-time.
The Saints lost their QB Jameis Winston early in the season to injury before handing it off to Andy Dalton. The Saints, who don’t have their first-round pick, have a lot of changes to make this offseason. The first might be trading former coach Sean Payton.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 8-9 — won division title
- Carolina Panthers, 7-10 — eliminated
- New Orleans Saints, 7-10 — eliminated
- Atlanta Falcons, 7-10 — eliminated