NEW ORLEANS (AP) — As difficult as Dennis Allen's first year as the Saints' coach has been, New Orleans could climb right back into the NFC South race by winning its next game.
Just don't expect Allen to be touting that fact this week.
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The news coming out of another disappointing loss to an opponent with a losing record was not as bad as it could have been for the first-place Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Bucs (5-6) not only continue to hold a slim lead in the not-so-imposing NFC South, but an injury suffered by All-Pro offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs during an overtime loss to the Cleveland Browns is not as serious as the team initially feared.
ATLANTA (AP) — In what was supposed to be a rebuilding year, the Atlanta Falcons are 5-7 and still in the hunt for the NFC South title.
The reality is they could be so much better if they weren’t 4-5 in one-possession games.
CLEVELAND (AP) — Seconds from a third straight win, added momentum and a little breathing room atop the below-average NFC South, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers folded.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Sam Darnold has been waiting more than 10 months for another chance to prove he can lead the Carolina Panthers.
It finally came on Sunday, and he made the most of it.
Darnold threw for a touchdown and recovered his own fumble for another score in his first game since Jan.
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — The Atlanta Falcons are not ruling out tight end Kyle Pitts and defensive end Ta’Quon Graham for the season, even though coach Arthur Smith said Wednesday each starter will have surgery.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Saints coach Dennis Allen placed a renewed focus on fundamentals during the past week of practice and it appeared to pay off.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The defending champion Los Angeles Rams and the New Orleans Saints have been on parallel paths this season.
Both have been disappointments, are multiple games below .500 and urgently need a victory as they meet in the Superdome on Sunday.
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are back at .500 and feeling good about their prospects of making a strong second-half run.
The Bucs (5-5) enter this week’s bye sitting alone atop the NFC South, confident they’re headed in the right direction after consecutive wins over the Los Angeles Rams and Seattle Seahawks.
PITTSBURGH (AP) — New Orleans Saints coach Dennis Allen was noncommittal about his quarterback situation after a loss Sunday to the Pittsburgh Steelers, declining to say if Andy Dalton or Jameis Winston will be the starter going forward.
ATLANTA (AP) — Two losses in five days have left Atlanta Falcons coach Arthur Smith again fielding questions about quarterback Marcus Mariota.
The Falcons are 4-6, falling out of a first-place tie in the weak NFC South.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Atlanta Falcons were one of the NFL’s feel-good stories the first month the season.
But any NFC South title aspirations might be starting to slip away from the Falcons after three losses in four games, including a disappointing 25-15 defeat to the Carolina Panthers on Thursday night.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Atlanta Falcons starting left tackle Jake Matthews arrived for Thursday night’s game against the Carolina Panthers in time to play after his wife, Meggi, gave birth to a son earlier in the day.
NEW ORLEANS (3-6) at PITTSBURGH (2-6)
Sunday, 1 p.m. EST, FOX
FANDUEL SPORTSBOOK NFL LINE: Saints by 2 1/2.
The worst division in the NFL gets a prime-time matchup when the Carolina Panthers and Atlanta Falcons meet for the second time in less than two weeks on Thursday night.
Despite a losing record, the Falcons (4-5) are in the mix for first place with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-5) in the NFC South.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Dennis Allen will need the second half of his first season as Saints head coach to go better than the first if New Orleans is to entertain any postseason possibilities.
The good news for Allen and the Saints (3-6) is that they remain just a game out of first place in the NFC South with eight to play — and many teams would take that.
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are back in first place, though not necessarily back on track.
Tom Brady led a dramatic comeback victory over the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams, ending a three-game losing streak and enabling the Bucs (4-5) to pull even with Atlanta atop the NFC South midway through the season.
ATLANTA (AP) — Nine games have revealed the Atlanta Falcons to be a team with limitations on defense and in their passing game.
That doesn't mean they can't compete in the woeful NFC South.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Carolina Panthers wide receiver D.J. Moore said he doesn’t have any regrets about taking his helmet off after hauling in a 62-yard touchdown on a Hail Mary pass from P.J. Walker last Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons -- a play that may have cost his team first place in the NFC South.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The New Orleans Saints' first season since former coach Sean Payton’s retirement has been a struggle.
Yet first-year coach Dennis Allen’s chances of salvaging this campaign rose considerably last week with a dominant, shutout victory that harkened back to the Saints squads that made four straight playoff appearances from 2017 to 2020.
ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Falcons have remained consistent in their commitment to running the ball without becoming predictable.
Los Angeles Chargers coach Brandon Staley says that's why the surprising Falcons are leading the NFC South.
ATLANTA (AP) — D.J. Moore hauled in a last-minute touchdown pass but ripped off his helmet, Carolina's Eddy Piñeiro missed a pair of potential winning kicks, and the Atlanta Falcons escaped with a victory that was as improbable as their spot in the standings.
ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Falcons are rebuilding.
The Carolina Panthers are in a major state of flux.
CAROLINA (2-5) at ATLANTA (3-4)
Sunday, 1 p.m. EDT, Fox
OPENING LINE: Falcons by 4½, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — The first-place Atlanta Falcons will be missing most of their starting secondary when they host the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.
The Falcons (3-4) ruled out safety Jaylinn Hawkins (concussion) and cornerback A.J.
METAIRIE, La. (AP) — Saints coach Dennis Allen has decided that Andy Dalton will remain the New Orleans Saints starting quarterback for a fifth straight week — even though Jameis Winston is healthy enough to return.
CINCINNATI (AP) — Marcus Mariota and the Falcons couldn't keep up with Joe Burrow and the Bengals, and Atlanta's 35-17 loss on Sunday erased the momentum it gained from last week's win over San Francisco.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Brian Burns, a Pro Bowl defensive end who goes by the nickname “Spiderman,” calls Tom Brady the Carolina Panthers' “arch nemesis."
And for good reason.
Brady is 4-0 against Carolina since joining the NFC South, averaging 279 yards passing per game with eight touchdown passes and one interception while helping the Bucs outscore the Panthers 150-63.
CINCINNATI (AP) — The Cincinnati Bengals and Atlanta Falcons have both been surprising this season — for different reasons.
The Bengals — last year's AFC champions — dropped their first two games and had to come from behind again to beat New Orleans last week to get to 3-3.
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — The Arizona Cardinals and New Orleans Saints are two teams stuck in the early season doldrums, struggling with injuries and inconsistent play.
It's too early to throw out the ‘must-win’ label for Thursday night's matchup.
ATLANTA (AP) — Who's that team at the top of the NFC South?
Yep, it's the Atlanta Falcons.
Six weeks into a season of extremely low expectations, the Falcons (3-3) are tied with Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the division lead.
ATLANTA (AP) — There may be no better opportunity for Marcus Mariota to prove he can be more than a bridge at quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons than in this week's matchup with San Francisco and its top-rated defense.
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Tom Brady has never lost to the Atlanta Falcons. He hasn't lost three straight games in over two decades. Those streaks stayed intact Sunday with timely assistance from a disputed roughing-the-passer penalty.
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Chris Godwin looks at the Atlanta Falcons and doesn’t see the same NFC South rival the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have had their way with lately.
“I think one of the biggest things is that they’re playing with a lot of momentum right now.
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are 2-0, thanks to a pair of strong performances by a ball-hawking, stingy defense that looks as though it has a chance to be special.
The Bucs haven’t needed Tom Brady to be at his best in beating Dallas and NFC South rival New Orleans to open the season, with linebackers Devin White and Shaquil Barrett leading a relentless pass rush and a rejuvenated secondary forcing six turnovers in two games.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston patiently entertained a series of questions about the last time he faced the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Superdome.
As he did, it was apparent Winston wasn't too interested in dwelling on the moment his 2021 season ended with a left knee injury on a tackle by Buccaneers linebacker Devin White.
ATLANTA (AP) — It's going to be a bit strange to see someone other than Sean Payton on the New Orleans sideline.
The Saints are beginning not just a new season Sunday — it's a whole new era as they face their NFC South rival, the Atlanta Falcons.
ATLANTA (AP) — In only two seasons in the NFC South, Tom Brady has cast a shadow that stretches from Charlotte to Atlanta to New Orleans.
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Tom Brady is back for a 23rd season, his third with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
But that’s hardly the only major storyline for the defending NFC South champions as they begin training camp.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (14-5)
CAMP SITE: Tampa, Florida
LAST YEAR: Coming off winning the Super Bowl in Tom Brady’s first season outside New England, the Bucs set a franchise record for regular-season victories with 13 and captured their first NFC South title since 2007.
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — If the Tampa Bay Buccaneers drafted as well as they think they did, Tom Brady’s supporting cast will be better next season.
While the defending NFC South champions once again figure to be a veteran-laden team not counting on rookies to shore up glaring weaknesses, vice president of player personnel John Spytek believes this year's draft class can help make a difference.
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are determined to give Tom Brady everything he needs to pursue an eighth Super Bowl title.
That includes versatility and depth on the defensive and offensive lines, which the defending NFC South champions addressed by taking Houston's Logan Hall and Central Michigan's Luke Goedeke with their first two picks in the NFL draft on Friday night.
27. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (14-5)
LAST SEASON: With Tom Brady leading the league in completions, attempts, passing yards and touchdowns, the Bucs followed up winning their first Super Bowl victory in nearly two decades by setting a franchise record for regular season wins and capturing their first NFC South title since 2007.
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are trying to give Tom Brady everything he needs to compete for another championship.
Free agent receiver Russell Gage and guard Shaq Mason, acquired in a trade from the New England Patriots on Friday, are the latest additions to a revamped roster that’s taken form since Brady ended his brief retirement.
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Carlton Davis weighed his options, then followed his heart.
It helped that Tom Brady decided to return to Tampa Bay last weekend, but Davis felt all along that the Buccaneers are a perfect fit for him.
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Pro Bowl center Ryan Jensen was simultaneously celebrating his daughter’s birthday and contemplating his future in the NFL when he got a phone call from Tom Brady, who was about to announce he was returning to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Tom Brady’s retirement lasted 40 days.
Brady said Sunday he’s returning to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for his 23rd NFL season.
The seven-time Super Bowl champion announced his decision on Twitter and Instagram, saying he has “unfinished business.” The news stole the spotlight from the NCAA’s Selection Sunday.
Reaction from social media and elsewhere after Tom Brady announced his retirement. Brady won seven Super Bowls and set numerous passing records in an unprecedented 22-year career. He made the announcement in a long post on Instagram.
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — While it would be nice to get Tom Brady and Tampa Bay’s other healthy starters some rest, coach Bruce Arians isn’t counting on it when the defending Super Bowl champions close the regular season against the Carolina Panthers.