The NFC South Won’t be an Easy Road for the Saints in the 2023-2024 Season
Last season the NFC South was the joke of the NFC, similar to when the NFC East was the NFC least. However, the NFC South similar to Gotham City is a powder keg ready to blow but unlike Gotham, the Riddler isn't the match for the NFC South instead it is a competent quarterback.
Today the Atlanta Falcons cut Marcus Mariota. Now Atlanta joins the rest of the NFC South in search of a quarterback.
A lot of Saints fans believe that the Saints are a quarterback away from taking over the division; however, that is false. With this Dennis Allen and Pete Carmichael regime, the team is already behind the Panthers and Buccaneers in the coaching department. And then the teams themselves are younger than the Saints. That's the case with the Falcons and the Panthers. The Buccaneers and the Saints are closer in terms of players; however, I still feel they edge out the Saints.
The Buccaneers, Panthers, and Falcons all got more interceptions than the Saints last season. Offensively the Panthers and Falcons had more rush yards than the Saints as well. And then when it comes to total offensive yards the Buccaneers had the most then the Saints next but without a competent quarterback, the Saints only had 257 more yards than the Falcons and 468 more yards than the Panthers. Also defensively the Saints were supposed to be known as the run-stoppers but the Panthers, Bucs, and Falcons all did better than the Saints against the run.
The reason I bring up those stats is that the Saints aren't getting any younger and those teams' players will be maturing as they go into next season. The talent line between the NFC South is shrinking and shrinking fast. If any of those teams get a competent quarterback it's over for the Saints until they respond and get one. And even if they manage to get a good quarterback, I don't have faith in the coaching staff to make said quarterback successful.
With the NFL Draft coming up the Falcons, Bucs, and Panthers all have higher picks than the Saints. Any of those teams can choose a quarterback ahead of the Saints. Then with free agency on the horizon those teams all have more money they can offer than the Saints. So with the Saints not having a good pick to draft a quarterback and no money to buy a quarterback, the Saints are trapped between a rock and a hard place. This is why if the Saints don't prepare the right way this offseason, we will see a shift in the hierarchy of the NFC South.