Around the NFC South

Time for a look at the top stories from around the NFC South.

On the first day back at practice after the bye, Carolina coach Ron Rivera had the Panthers practicing in full pads. Not a bad idea to shake up the routine a bit when you’re 2-6.

Jeff Duncan points out that the Saints have won nine consecutive November games. They haven’t lost in the month of November since the 2008 season. That’s a big part of the reason they made the playoffs in the 2009 and 2010 seasons.

D. Orlando Ledbetter writes about how dominant the Atlanta defense was against Indianapolis. Yes, the Colts are struggling, but Atlanta’s defense had shown some signs of improvement even before the Indianapolis game. With New Orleans coming to town Sunday, the Atlanta defense needs to be at the top of its game.

For all those New Orleans fans who saw Darren Sharper on the Saints’ sideline Sunday and wondered if he might be making a comeback, he’s not. Sharper simply was hanging out with his former teammates. He said his next career step will be to get into broadcasting.

Joe Henderson writes that the Buccaneers need to play smarter. He’s absolutely right. Tampa Bay has had more penalty yards than its opponent in each of the past six games. The Bucs obviously have some talent, but they’re the league’s youngest team. When you’re that young, there’s not a lot of margin for error, and penalties are errors that can be controlled.