Time for a look at the top headlines from around the NFC South:
Cornerback Asante Samuel has been helping the Falcons in pass coverage. But, as Daniel Cox points out, Samuel can do even more this week against Philadelphia. He spent the past four seasons with the Eagles, and the Falcons are tapping into him for insight into the Philadelphia offense and defense.
Linebacker Thomas Davis said the current Panthers have way more talent than the 2010 team that finished 2-14. He’s right. The 2010 team was in a set of unique circumstances as the team shed payroll in anticipation of the lockout, was starting rookie Jimmy Clausen and had an unhappy lame-duck coach in John Fox. That’s why this season has been far more disappointing, because the Panthers have plenty of individual talent and expectations were very high entering the season.
Ron Green Jr. writes that rookie linebacker Luke Kuechly has been a rare bright spot in a dismal season. That’s true. Kuechly started off making a few rookie mistakes, but has come on strong. He’ll need to continue to improve now that he’s taken over at middle linebacker with Jon Beason lost to injury for the season.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
Mike Triplett points out a statistic that summarizes the Saints’ season so far. They’re the only team in the NFL to score at least 24 points in every game. They’re also the only team in the NFL to allow 24 points in every game.
Michael Smith shows some stats and says the Saints can make it to the Super Bowl, despite their 2-4 start. But let’s keep in mind that Smith is a New Orleans native and an optimist.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
The war of words between Tampa Bay left tackle Donald Penn and Minnesota defensive end Jared Allen didn’t end at the final whistle Thursday night. After the game, Penn said Allen got lucky when he recorded a sack on the first play after the two got into an altercation near the end of the third quarter.