NFC South Notes: Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers, Saints



Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston had the type of disastrous performance on Sunday that the team hoped the hire of HC Bruce Arians would weed out of their young signal caller. Winston threw five interceptions and also lost a fumble in Tampa Bay’s 37-26 loss to Carolina in London. However, Arians says he’s not considering making a change at quarterback after the loss. 

“No. I look at the reasons why. What happened?” Arians said via ESPN’s Jenna Laine. “If it happens again, yeah, it’ll concern the hell out of me.”

Winston was sacked seven times by a Panthers defense that has become red-hot in recent weeks and was facing a Buccaneers line that was down two starters. Arians attributed a lot of Winston’s poor performance to the lack of protection, though he didn’t let his quarterback completely off the hook. 

“I think when you get hit — I don’t care if you’re Tom Brady — when you get hit early in games, it’s different,” Arians said. “And we got him hit early in the game, excluding the first play. We got him hit too much early in the game.”

  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer writes that teams have inquired about a trade for Buccaneers TE O.J. Howard but have been told no. 
  • Buccaneers DE Jason Pierre-Paul will return to practice this week and do individual work, including one-on-ones with offensive linemen per Arians: “He’ll have pads on, going one-on-one with a couple offensive linemen who will stay – practice squad guys – and he’ll practice tomorrow and Wednesday.” (Rick Stroud)


  • Per ESPN’s Vaughn McClure, Falcons HC Dan Quinn says CB Desmond Trufant is still not there yet in his recovery from a toe injury. 
  • He added that fourth-round rookie CB Kendall Sheffield has earned more time as an outside corner even when Trufant comes back. 


With Panthers QB Kyle Allen now 5-0 dating back to the end of last season and setting an NFL record by becoming the first quarterback to start his career with a 5-0 record without throwing an interception, the questions about whether he should keep the starting job naturally are gaining steam. Panthers HC Ron Rivera‘s response when that question was posed to him was basically to ignore it. 

“I’m not going to worry about it,” Rivera said via ESPN’s David Newton. “I’m not going to speculate on anything until I have to address that. So until then, we’re going to stay in the now, stay in the focus of what we’re doing right now. As far as I’m concerned, we’re not going to deal with the question until it is time. And when the time comes, I will address it. As far as I’m concerned, [Cam’s] in the rehab program and he’s doing the program and our quarterback right now playing for us is Kyle. So we’re not going to address it.”

  • Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman says an AFC general manager estimated at least 10 teams would be interested in Panthers QB Cam Newton if the team made him available. 


  • According to the New Orleans Advocate’s Amie Just, Saints HC Sean Payton says RB Alvin Kamara‘s ankle swelled up before the game but he was still fine to play. He also tweaked his knee Sunday which is why he left the game briefly. 
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