This year’s dash to the NFC South crown is widely believed to be a two-horse race between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New Orleans Saints. But wait . . . which horse is that coming up from the outside?!?
According to NFL Network’s Kyle Brandt, it’s the Carolina Panthers!
On Tuesday’s episode of Good Morning Football, Brandt went over his NFC playoff picks for the 2022 campaign. And his most surprising prediction, undoubtedly, was the one that had the Panthers beating out the Buccaneers and Saints for what would be their first division title in seven years.
“I’m gonna go with the Panthers,” Brandt said in a move that shocked his fellow hosts. “Last year, the 2021 Panthers were 3-0 before Christian McCaffrey got hurt. Christian McCaffrey is back. Christian McCaffrey will be a superstar this year.”
As Brandt notes, the team was sitting quite pretty before they lost their star rusher. McCaffrey, due to a hamstring strain and ankle sprain, missed a total of 10 games last season.
Brandt also put some faith into the Panthers’ new starting quarterback Baker Mayfield, who should present a noticeable upgrade under center, and the team’s budding defense.
“Last year, the Carolina Panthers had literally the worst quarterback play out of 32 teams by any available metric. Baker Mayfield is gonna go here, starting with a win Week 1 against the Browns.
“I believe in the young defense. I think the Panthers are going to win the South. I don’t care what anyone else is saying. I never have. The Panthers to win the South.”
And if it’s any consolation to Tampa Bay, Brandt does have them snatching up a wild card spot. But . . . um . . . sorry, New Orleans.
This content was originally published here.