Commentary

ESPN The Magazine: NFC South preview

It looks like a Carolina and New Orleans battle in 2009

Updated: September 1, 2009, 8:05 AM ET
By ESPN The Magazine staff
Getty ImagesThe last time we saw Jake Delhomme in meaningful action, he was having a rough day against the Cardinals. Can he bounce back this regular season?

These division previews appear in the September 7 issue of ESPN The Magazine.

Check out each division previewed here:

NFC

EAST | NORTH | SOUTH | WEST

AFC

EAST | NORTH | SOUTH | WEST

Projected order of finish

1. Carolina Panthers (9-7)

The running game (152.3 yards per) is still dangerous and even if history says Jake Delhomme will follow up his January disaster with a poor 2009, Julius Peppers' return should help the D (20.6 points allowed per game in 2008, good for No. 12 in the NFL) stay strong enough for another South title.

2. New Orleans Saints (8-8)

Drew Brees and the high-flying passing game are back. So is the porous defense (221.7 passing yards allowed per game). New defensive coordinator Gregg Williams brings a more aggressive blitzing style, but he can't suddenly turn the Saints' corners into Champ Bailey and Nnamdi Asomugha.

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