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Around the NFC South: Week Four

The Buccaneers were embarrassed by the Bears on Sunday, but what else went on around the division in week four?

NFL: New Orleans Saints at New York Giants Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Buccaneers got picked apart by the Bears on Sunday, dropping to 2-2 on the season with a 48-10 loss in Chicago. Tampa Bay now heads into its bye week on a two-game losing streak after starting hot with wins over the Saints and Eagles.

The team returns to action on Oct. 14, going to Atlanta for a crucial game. Before turning the page to week five in the NFL, let’s break down what went on in the NFC South this weekend.

New Orleans Saints (3-1)

The Saints won their third straight game on Sunday, beating the Giants 33-18 on the road. New York took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter, but four field goals in the second quarter by Will Lutz gave New Orleans a 12-7 halftime lead. Coming out of the locker room, Alvin Kamara took over. He ran for three touchdowns, with the third coming from 49 yards out to give the Saints some cushion with 2:06 to go.

Drew Brees wasn’t overly impressive, throwing for 217 yards on 18-of-32 passing. Michael Thomas wasn’t much of a factor either, catching just four passes for 47 yards. But New Orleans got more than enough from Kamara, whose three scores came along with 134 yards on 19 carries. The New Orleans defense allowed just 299 yards, which was much better than its previous performances. The victory, paired with Tampa Bay’s loss, allowed the Saints to move into first place in the NFC South.

Up Next: vs. Washington Redskins (2-1)

Carolina Panthers (2-1)

The Panthers were off this week, but moved ahead of the Bucs in the standings.

Up Next: vs. New York Giants (1-3)

Atlanta Falcons (1-3)

Atlanta allowed a late touchdown on Sunday, leading to a 37-36 loss at home against the Bengals. It was another big day for Matt Ryan, but the Falcons’ injury-ridden defense couldn’t hang with Andy Dalton and the Cincinnati offense. Atlanta trailed 28-24 at halftime, but came back to take a 33-28 lead early in the fourth quarter. Randy Bullock and Matt Bryant then traded field goals before Dalton led a 16-play, 75-yard drive that lasted 4:08. He capped off the game-winning drive with a 13-yard touchdown pass to A.J. Green with seven seconds to go.

Ryan threw for 419 yards and three touchdowns on 29-of-39 passing, but Dalton matched him well throughout the day. Julio Jones caught nine passes for 173 yards and rookie Calvin Ridley caught two touchdowns, but Tyler Boyd and Green did what they could to keep up. Atlanta out-gained Cincinnati 495-407, but became the first team since 1966 to lose back-to-back games when scoring 36-plus points in each.

Up Next: at Pittsburgh Steelers (1-2-1)