2023 NFC South Win Totals Projections

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Have you considered 2023 NFC South win totals? I have been analyzing win totals all summer with the regular season of the NFL kicking off September 7. We are almost at the end of our win totals series and below we are digging into NFC South win totals. 

With just one more division to go after the NFC South, I feel ready and fully prepared for the new season ahead. I will be taking you through each team across the NFC South and investigating their win totals and projections. Last week I gave my analysis for the NFC North.

How much of an impact will Carr have on NFC South win totals
How much of an impact will Carr have on NFC South win totals

Here’s Our Analysis Of NFC South Win Totals 

Teams in the NFC South struggled last season and every single team had a losing campaign. Tom Brady has now officially retired for good. How will the Tampa Bay Buccaneers fare at quarterback? 

The Falcons appear to have drafted a stud in Bijan Robinson but will Desmond Ridder be good enough as the signal caller in Atlanta? Carolina may have a quarterback but how will rookie Bryce Young perform in 2023? 

New Orleans may have missed Sean Payton last year but Dennis Allen will be given another chance. Can the Saints win an eighth division title? Check out my over/under picks below for each team’s win totals. But before you do, take a look at the last entry to this series. We looked at NFC North win totals.

Time To Delve Into NFC South Win Totals 

Despite the Bucs winning the NFC South in 2022, nobody impressed last season. Tampa were beaten 31-14 in the Wild Card round by the Dallas Cowboys. Can teams in the NFC South bounce back in 2023? 

Currently, the Saints appear to be the strongest contenders to win the division. They picked up Derek Carr during the offseason and he could have a big say in NFC South win totals. Will he be able to link up with three-time Pro Bowler Michael Thomas?

The Falcons appear to have strengthened their defense ahead of the new season and have signed some strong players during the offseason. They had the second least sacks in the league in 2022. Will they improve in 2023? How will Frank Reich perform as head coach at the Panthers? Do they have a top-20 defense? Below we try and get some answers for these questions that are affecting NFC South win totals.

Atlanta Falcons – NFC South Win Totals

  • NFC South Win Totals: 8.5
  • 2022 Record: 7-10

The Falcons have had back-to-back seasons finishing with a 7-10 record under head coach Arthur Smith. They failed to reach the playoffs for the fifth straight season last year but did manage to defeat Tom Brady for the first time in his career. That’s something, I guess. 

2022 was the first time since 2007 that quarterback Matt Ryan was not on the roster. Marcus Mariota and Desmond Ridder were under center last season but it didn’t work out for the former. Ridder looks set to be the starter for the 2023 season, whilst Taylor Heinicke is the back-up for now. 

Atlanta does have some exciting prospects in their offense. The likes of Kyle Pitts, Drake London and eighth overall pick in the 2023 NFL draft Bijan Robinson could all have huge seasons. There is plenty of hype surrounding Robinson who rushed for 1580 yards and 18 touchdowns at Texas in his final college year. Can he help guide them to their first playoff appearance since 2017? 

Is Desmond Ridder good enough at quarterback? 

Ridder vs Heinicke? The former is set to take over starting duties from Mariota. Mariota struggled as a passer last year and had a rating of 88.2, throwing for 2219 yards, 15 touchdowns and nine interceptions. 

Ridder was drafted in the third round of the 2022 NFL draft and started four games last season, taking over the starting job as the Falcons’ signal caller. He didn’t show much, though, in 2022, completing 73 of his 115 pass attempts for 708 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions. There is quite a lot of uncertainty surrounding Ridder for 2023 and his performances will impact NFC South win totals.

However, it will be Ridder’s first full season as a starter in the NFL and the offense around him looks strong. The hope is Ridder is going to be able to work with the likes of Robinson, Pitts and London. They also signed right guard Chris Lindstrom to a monster five-year, $105 million contract extension, making him the highest paid offensive lineman in NFL history. The o-line looks solid and could lay some good foundations. 

The Falcons are backing Ridder to shine in 2023 and that is the biggest talking point. Atlanta has plenty of impressive talents at the skill positions. They just need a QB good enough to get the best out of that talent. Heinicke is the current back-up and started nine games for the Washington Commanders last year, leading them to a winning record of 5-3-1. Will he become the starter later in the season? 

Defensive improvements will impact NFC South win totals 

Over the offseason, the Falcons have added some nice pieces on the defense in the form of Jessie Bates III, Kaden Ellis, Calais Campbell, David Onyemata and Bud Dupree. They should be able to improve what was an incredibly weak defense in 2022. 

Bates had been the starting safety with the Cincinnati Bengals since he was drafted in the second round in the 2018 draft. He had a 71.9 PFF grade last year, excelling in the run defense. He recorded eight pass defenses and four interceptions and will upgrade the Falcons’ secondary, alongside Jeff Okudah. 

Veteran defensive end Campbell certainly has faith in the potential of this Falcons roster and the six-time Pro Bowler still proved he can make an impact in the NFL by recording 5.5 sacks at the Baltimore Ravens last season. He should help improve the pass rush and add some experience to try and guide the Falcons to the playoffs. 

Atlanta Falcons Current NFC South Win Totals: 8.5

It’s a team with potential but potential doesn’t necessarily work out in real life. If Ridder can get the offense going, then the Falcons have a big ceiling. They have made some solid improvements to what was a weak defense in 2022 but getting over 8.5 wins seems unlikely in 2023. 

Best Bet: Under 8.5 wins

Carolina Panthers – NFC South Win Totals

  • NFC South Win Totals: 7.5
  • 2022 Record: 7-10

Matt Rhule was fired in October after going 1-4 with the Panthers in 2022. They ended up winning six out of their final 11 games to finish the regular season 7-10, improving upon their 5-12 record the season prior. Defensive passing game coordinator Steve Wilks took interim charge for the remainder of the season. 

It was a big year for the Panthers in 2022 as they ended up trading star running back Christian McCaffrey after going 1-5 through Week Six. However, they saw a big improvement once Rhule went out the door and there is promise for the new season.

Bryce Young will have something to say about NFC South win totals
Bryce Young will have something to say about NFC South win totals

Carolina haven’t reached the playoffs since 2017 but new head coach Frank Reich will be hoping to guide them there this time around. The defense looks impressive but it may struggle without Wilks. 

How will Bryce Young settle into the offense? His performances will influence NFC South win totals 

The Panthers made their offseason move early as they traded for the first overall pick in the 2023 draft. They gave up two first-round picks, two second-round selections and wide receiver D.J. Moore. That led them to drafting Young and the former Alabama quarterback is set to be the face of the franchise. 

It’s not going to be easy for Carolina to get to eight wins with a rookie quarterback, nevertheless. Staffing changes with Reich coming in as head coach means that the team will need to adjust all round. There has been a lot of change in Carolina and perhaps a few too many question marks remain. 

Talent around Young, especially after losing Moore, doesn’t invoke too much confidence either. Adam Thielen is set to be the WR1 but he is now 33-years-old and has failed to reach over 1000 receiving yards since 2018. He only managed six touchdowns last season as well. We are yet to see what 39th overall pick Jonathan Mingo can do at the NFL level and D.J. Chark has only shown flashes of what he can do and is yet to find any sort of consistency. 

Is the defense inside the top 20? 

Defensively, the Panthers appear to have upgraded and there is talent across the board. They may even be a top-20 defense in the league. However, they have lost defensive coach Wilks. The hope is that Ejiro Evero will be a suitable replacement. 

Brian Burns has had back-to-back seasons of being elected to the Pro Bowl and he had his highest sack total of his career in 2022, recording 12.5 sacks. He will be one of the key pieces on the defense, alongside the likes of Derrick Brown and Frankie Luvu. Brown, in particular, impressed last season and had an overall defensive PFF grade of 84.4.

The addition of safety Von Bell will bolster the secondary, whilst 2021 eighth overall pick Jaycee Horn will be hoping to have a breakout year in 2023. Horn was solid in 2022 and had seven pass defenses and three interceptions. His PFF coverage grade of 73.2 was the 27th best in the league at corner. The Carolina defense looks set to have a say in NFC South win totals. 

Carolina Panthers Current NFC South Win Totals: 7.5

The defense could help carry the team whilst the offense takes some time to adjust. The Panthers may have one of the easier schedules this year too which could favor them. However, there is just too much uncertainty at the moment for them to hit the over. 

Best Bet: Under 7.5 wins

New Orleans Saints – NFC South Win Totals

  • NFC South Win Totals: 9.5
  • 2022 Record: 7-10

The Saints were the third team in the division to have a 7-10 record in 2022 under Dennis Allen. It was the first time since 2012 that Sean Payton was not the head coach in New Orleans. His departure was felt last season as it was the franchise’s first losing season since 2016. 

They failed to improve from their 9-8 record in 2021. After winning four consecutive NFC South titles between 2017 and 2020, the Saints have failed to win the division in each of their last two seasons. 

Allen will have another chance at success with the Saints in 2023. They now have a quarterback too after the failures of Jameis Winston and Andy Dalton last year. The Saints are the favorites to win the division and look to be one of the strongest teams in the NFC South. 

Can Derek Carr perform in New Orleans? He will affect NFC South win totals 

Derek Carr is the new quarterback for the Saints after he signed following nine consecutive seasons as the starter at the Raiders. He signed a four-year, $150 million contract back in March. He will attempt to link up with 2022 11th overall pick Chris Olave after he had an impressive rookie season. Olave got 1042 receiving yards and four touchdowns last season. Carr should be an improvement on Andy Dalton under center. 

The hope is that Michael Thomas can stay healthy too. However, he has started in just eight games in the NFL over the past three seasons. He could be set for a bounce-back season in 2023. His health could make the difference to NFC South win totals by the end of the year.

NFC South win totals for the Saints - Thomas and Kamara
NFC South win totals for the Saints – Thomas and Kamara

However, five-time Pro Bowler Alvin Kamara is suspended for three games and so he will be a big miss for the Saints to start the season. Jamaal Williams will be hoping to carry on from his impressive 2022 with the Lions after he signed as a free agent. Williams rushed for 1066 yards and 17 touchdowns in Detroit last year and should be the lead back until Kamara returns. 

How will the defense perform in 2023? 

There may be some issues on the Saints’ defense. They lost a couple of key pieces over the offseason in the form of Marcus Davenport and David Onyemata. However, the former is coming off of one of his worst seasons in the NFL and had just 0.5 sacks in 2022. 

New Orleans attempted to fill those holes in the draft. Defensive tackle Bryan Bresee was drafted with the 29th overall pick, whilst defensive end Isaiah Foskey was selected with the 40th overall selection. The pair should provide good strength in depth on the Saints’ defensive line. 

There are still some impressive pieces already on the roster too in Cameron Jordan, Demario Davis and Tyrann Mathieu but they are an aging defense. Carl Granderson, Pete Werner and Marcus Maye are also talented options. The loss of Davenport and Oneymata shouldn’t be felt too hard and the Saints gave up just the ninth least points in the league in 2022. Their departures may not have too much of an influence on NFC South win totals.

New Orleans Saints Current NFC South Win Totals: 9.5

There is plenty of talent on this Saints roster and Allen should be able to improve upon his first season in charge. If Carr slots in well in the offense and Thomas stays healthy, there is potential for a very strong season. 

Best Bet: Over 9.5 wins

Tampa Bay Buccaneers – NFC South Win Totals

  • NFC South Win Totals: 6.5
  • 2022 Record: 8-9

The Buccaneers won the NFC South last season despite having a losing record. It was Todd Bowles’ first season as head coach in Tampa after the retirement of Bruce Arians. The offense clearly lost a bit of its spark. 

The Bucs won the NFC South in consecutive seasons which was the first time they had done so in franchise history. It was legendary quarterback Tom Brady’s final season too, despite originally announcing his retirement prior to the start of the season. 

Tampa Bay struggled to find any consistency during 2022 and never won more than two games in a row. However, they still managed to reach the playoffs for the third straight season. How will they perform without Brady in 2023? How much will his absence affect NFC South win totals? 

Baker Mayfield has another crack as the starter 

Brady has actually retired for good after having one more year in the NFL. The 46-year-old will go down as one of the greatest sportsmen of all-time after winning seven Super Bowls. With an aging Brady under center last season, the Bucs still managed to average the second most passing yards per game in the NFL. It was the running game that let them down. 

It’s Baker Mayfield time now though in Tampa as he won the battle in camp against Kyle Trask. Baker was officially named QB1 by head coach Bowles earlier this week. He will try to build some chemistry with an impressive receiver duo of Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, whilst tight end Cade Otton will be hoping to build on a solid rookie year.  

In terms of the defense, it has been the Buccaneers’ strongest assets over the last five years. However, it wasn’t as effective last season and failed to live up to expectations. There is some excellent talent on the defense, nevertheless. The likes of Jamel Dean, Vita Vea, Antoine Winfield Jr. and Lavonte David should prosper. Calijah Kancey also looks to be a good pick up with the 19th overall pick. However, he has been dealing with a calf injury throughout training camp.

O-line concerns still remain – how it will determine NFC South win totals

Absences on the offensive line cost the Bucs massively last season. Center Ryan Jensen suffered a severe knee injury during training camp last year and wasn’t able to return until the first playoff game, missing the entire 2022 regular season. There are some concerns that he may never play in the NFL again and he is struggling with his knee issue after being placed on season-ending injured reserve. He is a huge loss once again for the Bucs. 

Robert Hainsey will likely be the starting center in 2023 as a result and he had experience playing in the Bucs’ offense last season as Jensen’s replacement. Hainsey didn’t allow a single sack last season and picked up just two penalties. Tristan Wirfs will be key as the elite lineman. 

However, the concerns on the o-line remain. Matt Feiler has come in at guard and has proven to be a very solid player over the last few years but is coming off a poor 2022 where he had a PFF grade of just 54.6. 48th overall pick in the 2023 draft Cody Mauch will need a big rookie season at guard. The recent news regarding Jensen is a huge blow. 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Current NFC South Win Totals: 6.5

The offense struggled in 2022, averaging just 18.4 points per game, even with Brady. Mayfield has shown a lot of character throughout his time in the NFL but it appears to be an extremely tough task with a struggling o-line. It’s hard to see how they hit the over. 

Best Bet: Under 6.5 wins

NFC South Win Totals – FAQ

How are NFC South win totals determined?

There are a number of different factors that determine NFC South win totals. Sportsbooks evaluate things such as offseason moves, schedules and past performances when setting their lines. Win totals are a projection of how many wins a bookmaker thinks a team will get for the season

How can staffing changes influence NFC South win totals?

Changes to staff can play a big role in influencing win totals. This is because head coaches, defensive coordinators and offensive coordinators directly decide how teams play football. The loss of Steve Wilks from the Panthers, for example, may make a big impact.

Who are the favorites to win the NFC South division title in 2023?

The New Orleans Saints are the current favorites to win the division and are priced at +100. The Atlanta Falcons follow closely behind at +150. The Carolina Panthers are +375 to win the division, whilst the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the big underdogs at +750.

Which players are set to make the biggest impact on NFC South win totals?

The NFC South is home to many talented NFL superstars. However, this division hosts a number of talented rookies who will have a big say in NFC South win totals. Players such as Bijan Robinson, Bryce Young, Bryan Bresee and Calijah Kancey are the most likely to have an impact

How can a team’s previous performances alter NFC South win totals?

Looking at a team’s past performance can have a big say on win totals. This is because it gives you a rough idea of where that team is at. It can help indicate whether a team is ready to compete, still building a roster or in the tank.