Around the NFC South

A look at the top headlines from around the NFC South.

Atlanta defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder said James Sanders and Thomas DeCoud will continue to compete for the starting job at free safety. DeCoud started the opener, but the veteran Sanders started in his place in Week 2.

Although running quarterback Cam Newton has been putting up huge passing numbers, the Panthers say they have to get better in the running game. With DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart in the backfield, the talent is there. But the Panthers have been hindered by some injuries on the offensive line.

Tampa Bay’s defense is allowing an average of 6.2 yards per snap. That’s a pace that’s worse than the 1986 defense, which allowed a franchise-record 6.0 yards per play.

Jim Henderson and Bradley Handwerger discuss the Saints’ kicking situation. John Kasay has made all his field-goal attempts and that could make for a difficult decision when Garrett Hartley is healthy enough to return.

The Panthers will face rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert on Sunday. Jacksonville coach Jack Del Rio has elected to go with Gabbert over Luke McCown, who started the first two games.