After being predicted to run away with the NFC South, the Buccaneers emerge from the first third of the season with a 3-2 record, tied with the Panthers for the top spot and only a half game ahead of the 3-3 Falcons. Most importantly, they already have an inter-division loss to the Falcons. The Panthers hold the early advantage without a loss in the division, however they have only played one division game thus far. They also still have games against the Rams and Seahawks on the schedule, both being tough opponents. The Seahawks in particular have dominated the NFC South this season, going 2-0 so far with wins against the Falcons and Bucs. The Saints aren't out of it by any means either at 2-3, and coming off a bye week.
The Panthers have the easiest Strength of Schedule among division opponents. Interestingly the NFC South seems to be paired up with arguably the toughest division in GZL (the NFC West) and also arguably the worst division (AFC East) this season. It's probably not surprising then that all of the teams find themselves near .500 at this point. There are a lot of intra-division games still to play, so this is really anyone's game at this point. All four teams have strong leaders on offense and defense, as well as seasoned GM's.