NFC South afternoon update

It’s been a pretty quiet Christmas Eve around the NFC South. But let’s take a quick run through the few headlines that have come out this afternoon.

  • Joseph Person reports that Carolina quarterback Cam Newton likely will face a fine for making physical contact with an official during Sunday’s game against Oakland. That’s not all that severe a penalty when you consider that Newton easily could have been ejected for touching the official.

  • Although his team is on a five-game losing streak, coach Greg Schiano said he still believes the Buccaneers are close. A month or so ago, I thought the Bucs were very close to being good. But what I’ve seen the last couple weeks makes me think they’re close to being among the league’s worst teams.

  • The Falcons continue to say they’re a different team than they’ve been in recent years. I suspect that may end up being true. But we’re not going to know for sure until we see them win a playoff game.