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Tuesday, December 8, 2009
How I See It: NFC South Stock Watch

By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN.com

NFC Stock Watch: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Falling

1. John Carney, Saints kicker: With Garrett Hartley suspended the first four games, the Saints turned to the veteran Carney and they had been sticking with him. But Carney had been a bit shaky recently and the team turned to Hartley on Sunday and he kicked well.

This could be the end of the road for Carney. Although the Saints have carried two kickers all season, they may not do that as they head into the playoffs.

2. Chris Redman, Falcons quarterback: He had to play for the injured Matt Ryan against the Eagles, and now Falcons fans should have a new appreciation for Ryan. Redman couldn’t get anything going with an offense that was all banged up.

The Falcons are saying there’s a chance Ryan could return this week. If not, it’s pretty safe to say that Redman’s not going to win a shootout with Drew Brees. In fact, rookie John Parker Wilson might be just as good of an option as Redman.

3. Josh Freeman, Buccaneers quarterback: Somebody said there’d be games like this for the rookie. This one was ugly as Freeman threw five interceptions and turned over the ball three times in the red zone.

The good news is Freeman and the Bucs moved the ball with ease the rest of the day. The turnovers can be fixed in time. This is all part of the process for Freeman and Tampa Bay.

Matt Moore
Matt Moore completed 70 percent of his passes in Sunday's win over Tampa Bay.
Rising

1. Matt Moore, Panthers quarterback: He got a start and he got a win. In the John Fox School of Offense, that’s all you’re asking a quarterback to do. Aside from one long pass to Steve Smith, Moore didn’t do anything fancy. But the important thing was he didn’t make many mistakes.

He threw one interception, but managed the game efficiently. Funny, but Moore looked a lot like Jake Delhomme back before Delhomme started throwing all those interceptions.

2. Robert Meachem, Saints receiver: He already was having a breakout year in his third season. But Meachem took it to another level Sunday. He put up big numbers as a receiver and continued to be a touchdown machine.

More important, Meachem made a huge play when he stripped the ball from a Washington defender, picked it up and ran it in for a touchdown. Meachem said in the preseason that fans would see “the real me’’ this year. If this is the real Meachem, he’s an excellent player.

3. Garrett Hartley, Saints kicker: He began the season by serving a four-game suspension and had been on the bench since. But the Saints felt Hartley had been kicking well in practice recently and decided to make a switch.

Hartley responded by making four field goals, including the game-winning kick. He probably won’t be leaving the lineup anytime soon.