The general feeling is that the NFL’s most loaded conference is the NFC.
There’s a strong case to be made that it is, considering the level of veteran quarterback talent in the NFC.
Intra-conference games seem to feature accomplished signal-callers every week, and as a result, no team truly feels like they are out of a game, or the playoff race.
With Week 10 just on the horizon, let’s take a closer look at two teams who are in the midst of the playoff mix in the NFC, who were not expected to be legitimately a part of it.
2. New Orleans Saints
The Saints had been a pillar of consistency for the last 15 seasons.
After Brees called it a career, the high level of quarterback play that New Orleans counted on for a decade and a half was suddenly a large question mark.
Jameis Winston had a year to learn under the future Hall of Famer in 2020, but it was anyone’s guess as to whether he’d be able to curtail the habit of turning the ball over that doomed him in Tampa Bay.
Before the ACL injury he suffered against his former team, the former first overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft only had three interceptions.
It’s a testament to good coaching, and the notion that Payton puts the pieces he has in the best position to win.
KENNY STILLS TOUCHDOWN!!
— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) November 7, 2021
1. Atlanta Falcons
Although they still seem to have a penchant for not being able to protect leads (see Week 9 versus the Saints), the Falcons still appear to have the ability to be frisky week in and week out.
Atlanta got off to a slow start, losing three out of their first four games out of the gate.
With star wide receiver Calvin Ridley’s availability in question heading into their game in London versus the New York Jets, the Falcons were on the precipice of disaster.
However, they were able to win that game, and have won two out of three since.
It hasn’t always been pretty, and usually comes with a fair share of stress if you’re a Falcons fan.
Pitts has garnered more attention from defenses since he has emerged as Atlanta’s top pass catching option, but he’s flashing the type of talent that made him the fourth overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
They enter Week 10 sitting at .500, as they head into Dallas to face the Cowboys.
The Falcons will be very motivated to steal one on the road there.
The future is bright ⭐️ pic.twitter.com/jtWJQ4yrfa
— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) November 9, 2021
They had one of the most confounding losses in 2020 in Dallas, due to some poor defense and special teams gaffes.