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Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Around the NFC South

By Pat Yasinskas

Time for a look at some odds and ends from around the division:

ATLANTA FALCONS

D. Orlando Ledbetter writes that the Falcons, who already have clinched the NFC South, aren’t planning on letting up. That’s exactly the attitude I’d expect from this bunch. Since the moment the Falcons lost to the Giants in last season’s playoffs, it’s been made very clear this team isn’t going to settle for simply making the playoffs. The goal is to get multiple wins in the postseason.

CAROLINA PANTHERS

Safety Sherrod Martin was placed on injured reserve after suffering a knee injury Sunday. Martin had been reduced to being a role player after losing his starting job to Haruki Nakamura in the preseason.

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

After allowing their first 10 opponents to put up more than 400 yards of total offense, Bradley Handwerger notes the Saints have held opponents under that number the past two weeks. That’s a sign that Steve Spagnuolo’s defense is catching on. But the Saints still have lost the past two games. There’s still plenty of room for improvement by this defense and much of it will have to come after the season. The Saints need to add players that fit Spagnuolo’s system, particularly some pass-rushers up front.

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

Cornerback Anthony Gaitor, who has been out all season with an injury, has been cleared to play this week. That’s good news because cornerback/return man LeQuan Lewis might have to miss time with a knee injury. Gaitor could get playing time behind starting cornerbacks E.J. Biggers and Leonard Johnson right away. The Bucs might also give rookie running back Michael Smith a look as their return man.