The day ahead in the NFC South

December, 30, 2012
12/30/12
10:21
AM ET
It’s going to be a unique day in the NFC South.

On the surface, there’s nothing at stake. But, under the surface, all four teams still have something to play for. Carolina coach Ron Rivera’s job still may be on the line.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who have lost their last five games, could very much use a win or they’re going to carry a lot of negative momentum heading into the offseason. The New Orleans Saints are playing for pride as they still have a chance to finish with a .500 record, which would be a nice accomplishment after an 0-4 start.

The Atlanta Falcons already have clinched all there is to clinch for the postseason and they may not play their starters the whole game. But the Falcons still have a chance to finish 14-2 and tie the 1998 team for the best record in franchise history. Another win would give them plenty of positive momentum heading into the postseason.

I’ll be watching the game between the Buccaneers and Falcons and the contest between the Panthers and Saints at the same time from NFC South blog headquarters. I’ll have wrap-ups on both games soon after they end and I’ll weigh in on any significant developments in the meantime.

We’ll have inactives before the games start and I expect to have draft position for the Bucs, Panthers and Saints before the night is over.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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