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Saturday, December 10, 2011
Around the NFC South

By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN.com

A look at the top Saturday morning headlines from around the NFC South:

Former Atlanta Falcons coach Jim Mora reportedly will be the next coach at UCLA.

The New Orleans run defense, which has played well of late, faces a huge two-game challenge. The Saints will face Tennessee’s Chris Johnson on Sunday and Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson next week.

Atlanta’s Matt Ryan has been hit 65 times. Only five teams have allowed their quarterbacks to be hit more.

Carolina quarterback Cam Newton, who plays the Falcons on Sunday, had his lowest NFL passer rating in the Week 6 contest against Atlanta.

Scott Fowler points out that one thing the Panthers haven’t done this season is beat a big-time quarterback. Their wins have come against Curtis Painter, Josh Johnson, John Beck and Blaine Gabbert. They’ll have their shot against Ryan on Sunday.

Tampa Bay coach and defensive coordinator Raheem Morris already has said the Bucs will simplify what they do on defense. Now, offensive coordinator Greg Olson said the Bucs will scale things back offensively. I guess the only question left is if the Bucs will scale back what they do on special teams?

Tampa Bay safety Sean Jones was fined $20,000 for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Carolina’s Legedu Naanee last week.