Coming into Week 8, all NFC South teams played at home with most of those games being hard-fought victories and close matches.
The Carolina Panthers showed resilience and perhaps a spark of resurgence with a win. While the Packers lost a close game to the Falcons, Aaron Rodgers proved he’s got his confidence back.
Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan won the game MVP with his impressive numbers. The New Orleans Saints pulled off the upset win over the Seattle Seahawks.
Here is a quick recap of a couple of the NFC South football games this weekend.
Arizona Cardinals at Carolina Panthers
The first quarter could not have been stronger offensively for the Panthers. Quarterback Cam Newton led the offense down the field with pass completions to Jonathan Stewart all the way into the end zone. Newton and company finished the first quarter with a 14-0 lead over the Cardinals.
Forcing punt after punt from the Cardinals, the real blowout began in the second quarter with a 24-0 lead. Finally, Arizona moved the ball, and a touchdown pass to J.J. Nelson enabled them to get on the scoreboard just before halftime.
The Panthers offense continued their momentum to start the second half, putting kicker Graham Gano within range for a 52-yard field goal to extend their lead. At the end of the third quarter, the Cardinals had their offense rolling managed to move the ball for a 30-14 score. For the Panthers, the fourth quarter has been a nightmare all season and Sunday proved no different.
Throughout the entire season, Panthers fans have seen blowout leads diminish into nail-biters.
Coming off of a fourth down conversion, Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer completed a pass to Nelson again for another touchdown.
However, the Arizona Cardinals could not complete the miracle, and the Panthers took home their second win of the season finishing 30-20. The Panthers may have even proved they’re back…just too late.
Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons showed impressive offense and (late) notable defense over the Packers on Sunday to widen their lead in the NFC South.
Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan completed a 47-yard touchdown pass to Taylor Gabriel to put his team on the scoreboard after the Packers scored on their first drive.
Ryan looked spectacular, throwing precise bullets for 288 yards and three touchdowns. Defensively, the Falcons struggled to stop Aaron Rodgers and his passing offense most of the afternoon.
The Packers continually penetrated the middle of the field and the Falcons rarely had a way to stop them. Additionally, the Falcons defense allowed Rodgers to average 10 yards per catch and many first downs.
But with a defensive improvement in the second half, the Falcons were able to hold off the Packers in the fourth quarter, including the final offensive drive by the Packers in the last seconds, to win 33-32.
The Falcons can widen their division lead by defeating the Buccaneers on the road this week on Thursday Night Football.
Seattle Seahawks at New Orleans Saints
The New Orleans Saints pulled off the upset Sunday in the Superdome over the now 4-2 Seattle Seahawks.
The Saints offense led a 15-play, 83-yard drive which resulted in a field goal. Again, the Saints had a 10-play, 40-yard drive which only culminated in a field goal.
Finally, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson was picked off and the Saints ran it into the end zone. The first half opened as expected with Seattle heading into the locker room with a 14-13 lead.
The second half opened with a pair of field goals for both teams, making the score 17-16. The momentum tilted towards the Saints as Drew Brees made a connection to WR Brandin Cooks for a 22-17 lead. At 25-20 with just 1:57 left to go, the game came down to the final Seahawks offensive possession and the Saints defense.
The Saints held on in a nail-biter to win a 25-20 and improved to 3-4 on the season.