The Carolina Panthers became the first team to win the NFC South in consecutive seasons in 2013 and 2014, though they accomplished the feat in not very dominant fashion. The division, which was founded in 2002, has changed hands each season since its inception, until the Panthers put together a 12-4 campaign in 2013 followed by last season’s campaign.
Bit it wasn’t a particularly strong showing. The Panthers wound up winning the division with a 7-8-1 record as each NFC South team struggled to put wins together. Nobody had much faith in the Panthers after a six-game losing skid, but to their credit, they were able to rebound and take their final four games of the regular season to win the division.
In 2015, the NFC South as a whole could go either way. The New Orleans Saints lost an amazing player in Jimmy Graham, but still have the steady presence of Drew Brees under center. The Atlanta Falcons have a new coach and a renewed focus on the defensive side of the ball. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a wild card in rookie quarterback Jameis Winston. And the Panthers still have star quarterback Cam Newton and one of the best defensive players in the league, linebacker Luke Kuechly.
Here’s what you should be watching for when all four teams open training camp, beginning in late July.
Are the Steelers concerned that their subsequent attempts won’t be as likely to succeed? Do they only go for it in the hopes of gaining an advantage and not want to press their luck? It’s hard to find the logic in why the Steelers would think they should go for two once but never again.