NFC South: Panthers are the hottest team

FLOWERY BRANCH -- The Panthers fired their coach and traded their top two offensive weapons in wide receiver Robbie Anderson and running back Christian McCaffrey.

Then they waived the quarterback, Baker Mayfield, whom they traded for.

Through the turmoil, interim coach Steve Wilks and and the Panthers have managed to win three of their past four games.

The Panthers (5-8) are set to face the Steelers (5-8) at 1 p.m. Sunday in Charlotte.

Like the Falcons, the Panthers are one game behind the Bucs (6-7) with four games to play. The Panthers, who could be accused of tanking, have a 19% chance of making the playoffs, according to the New York Times playoffs simulator.

The Bucs have a 77% chance, followed by the Falcons at 5% and the Saints at 1% before Thursday night’s game between the 49ers and the Seahawks.

The Bucs are set to host the Bengals (9-4) at 4:25 p.m. Sunday.

If the Panthers and Falcons win this week and the Bucs lose to the Bengals, all three teams would be tied at 6-8 after Sunday, with three games to play.

The wild-and-wacky NFC South could go down to the wire.

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Atlanta Falcons 2022 schedule

Sept. 11: Saints 27, Falcons 26

Sept. 18: Rams 31, Falcons 27

Sept. 25 Falcons 27, Seahawks 23

Oct. 2 Falcons 23, Browns 20

Oct. 9 Buccaneers 21, Falcons 15

Oct. 16 Falcons 28, 49ers 14

Oct. 23 Bengals 35, Falcons 17

Oct. 30 Falcons 37, Panthers 34 OT

Nov. 6 Chargers 20, Falcons 17

Nov. 10 Panthers 25, Falcons 15

Nov. 20 Falcons 27, Bears 24

Nov. 27 Commanders 19, Falcons 13

Dec. 4 Steelers 19, Falcons 16


Dec. 18 at New Orleans, 1 p.m.

Dec. 24 at Baltimore, 1 p.m.

Jan. 1 vs. Arizona, 1 p.m.

Jan. 8 vs. Tampa Bay, TBD