Around the NFC South

Time for a look at the top headlines from around the NFC South.

Tampa Bay running back Earnest Graham will have surgery to repair his Achilles tendon and will miss the rest of the season. Starting running back LeGarrette Blount may be able to return after this week’s bye, but the Bucs will need to add a running back because Kregg Lumpkin is the only remaining backup to Blount.

The Carolina Panthers want to re-establish the home-field advantage at Bank of America Stadium. There were a lot of Washington fans present Sunday, but that’s understandable. North Carolina was Redskins territory before the Panthers came along. But winning some more games is the surest way the Panthers can keep the crowd firmly on their side.

The Panthers already have scored more touchdowns (18) than they did all of last season (17). Two words: Cam Newton.

John Manasso writes about how Atlanta’s defense seems to be improving after a terrible start. The defense was very strong, especially early, against Detroit. If this continues, it will go a long way in keeping the Falcons in the NFC South race.

Jeff Duncan writes about how Drew Brees, already one of the best quarterbacks in the game, is getting better. He notes that Brees is off to the best start of an already-great career. Duncan’s right. It’s kind of fun to watch a guy who is truly at the top of his game.