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Burning questions in the NFC South this 2014-2015 season

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Continuing our trip around the divisions lets take a look at what are some of the key issues that need to be solved in the NFC South.

Will Cam Newton have anyone to throw to?

Whilst it is true that last years wide receiver trio of Steve Smith, Brandon LaFell and Ted Ginn weren't great in 2013 it is also true that the Panthers corp this season is somehow even more underwhelming.

Between Jerricho Cottery, Jason Avant, Tiquan Underwood and rookie Kelvin Benjamin the Panthers lack a genuine number one wide receiver.

Panthers Head Coach Ron Rivera however, has been talking about only needing to replace “a collective 10 catches a game from the WR group” so maybe he has a plan to get by without a genuine number one receiver.

Things could get tricky if Jordan Stewart continues to struggle with injuries and Cam Newton's mobility has been restricted due to his ankle injury.

Who will be the Saints' number two wide receiver?

Drew Brees top two targets are going to be tight end Jimmy Graham and number one receiver Marques Colston. Who will line up on the opposite side of the field for the Saints though?

The initial thoughts are that rookie Brandin Cooks will take the Lance Moore/Darren Sproles slot role whilst Kenny Stills' pace will be used as a vertical threat.

If Stills and Cooks click in these roles than the Saints offense could be amongst the best in the league. If Cooks struggles as a rookie and Stills doesn't kick on from his 641 yard rookie season then the Saints could find themselves overly reliant on Jimmy Graham.

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Is Josh McCown good enough?

The Buccaneers certainly think Josh McCown could be the man to get the ball into the hands of their basketball sized wide receivers. Is he good enough though?

McCown shone for the Bears in the second half of last season. In eight games he threw for 1,829 yards at an average of 8.2 yards per throw with a 5.8% touchdown rating.

Can he replicate those stats at Tampa Bay though? Or will he return to the journeyman level he has operated for the rest of his 11 year five club NFL career.

I have a sneaky suspicion that Mike Glennon could find himself lacing up as the Buccaneers starting QB not long into the 2014 season.

Can Julio Jones and Roddy White stay fit?

When you look at the statistics from the Atlanta Falcon's 4-12, 2013 season something weird about Matt Ryan's figures is readily apparent. Even as the Falcons were losing Ryan kept throwing for a lot of yards.

Ryan finished the season on 4,515 yards which ranked him as fourth in the NFL behind only Drew Brees, Peyton Manning and Matthew Stafford. What is more his performances were fairly consistent week to week. Only against the Seahawks in week 10 did Ryan throw for fewer than 200 yards. Whilst against teams like the 49ers, Patriots and Cardinals he threw for 348, 421 and 301 yards respectively.

The problem the Falcons had wasn't in throwing the ball but in the wide receivers make yards after the catch. In a injury hit season Julio Jones only made 268 yards after the catch whilst a similarly injury hampering Roddy White only managed 130.

If this pair can return to fitness and form in 2014 then the Falcon's could bounce back in a big ways.

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Carolina Panthers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Atlanta Falcons
New Orleans Saints

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