Colin Cowherd explains why he thinks Cam Newton and the Panthers will win the NFC South

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Eric Davis and Tony Gonzalez join Jason Whitlock and Colin Cowherd to discuss Carolina's win against Atlanta and whether they can win the NFC South.

[LAUGHTER] - Do you trust Cam and the Panthers to catch the division leading Saints?

- No. If I have a choice between Sean Payton and Drew Brees versus Cam Newton and Ron Rivera, I'm going to go with Sean Payton and Drew Brees. This was a nice victory they got here. Julio Jones dropped a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter.

Something's not right with Atlanta. You were right about them. They're having a post Super Bowl slump. And Matt Ryan is backed up.

So I'm not overwhelmed. I think it's interesting what Carolina has done. Somehow they, what are they, six and three? Somehow magically, I don't even understand how they got here to this point. But if I had to choose between them and the Saints, I'm going with Drew Brees.

- Let me just talk to Cam directly. Cam, as always, I've got your back.



ANNOUNCER 1: Payback.

- I pick Carolina to win. I think they have a better roster than the Saints. I think they have an older veteran roster than the Saints. Saints are playing, by the way, seven draft picks.

ANNOUNCER 1: You know this is a flip. Last week on this show, you said Atlanta had the better roster. And now--

- No, no, I think Atlanta and Carolina have a better roster than New Orleans.

ANNOUNCER 1: OK, I'm sorry.

- I just, I think, by the way, the Saints, and also Greg Olsen comes back November-- let me look it up here-- week 12. So I get Greg Olsen. If Luke Kuechly's healthy, I get Greg Olsen. Carolina's winning with an up and down year for Cam.

Sorry, I like, I picked him. I like Carolina's roster a lot. I really, I have for years.

ANNOUNCER 1: You're not going to ride with the quarterback.

- I'll tell you what. In that division, I'm out on Jameis. Drew Brees isn't the same. I've never been a big Matt Ryan guy.

- Gotcha.

- Cam's the best athlete. I like Carolina.

- They're a game behind. I mean, they're just a game behind. So of course I still think Carolina has an opportunity to catch up to them. Number one--

ANNOUNCER 1: Do you think they will?

- Do I think they will? Yes, I do.

ANNOUNCER 2: I like that conviction.

- Yes. Number one now, the Atlanta, I was a part of that division. Carolina and Atlanta, that's a bigger rivalry. It could just be geographic. But I know how the team gets into it. That's a tougher one.

Even in the, even when the Panthers have bad teams, they find a way to play the Saints well. So they're a game behind. They get to play them. Atlanta is going to have, within the division, they're still going to beat one another up a little bit more.

I'm with you. You get Olsen back. Kuechly stays healthy. That's the key to everything. Cam's a much better quarterback when his defense is giving him more opportunities. That's how they rode it to the Super Bowl.

- Saints are the hottest team that no one respects.

- They're the hottest team. But once you get into the end, you get into the end of November, December, you're going to get within your division. They all beat each other up. And that division doesn't care about them being hot.

ANNOUNCER 2: By the way they beat Green Bay without Aaron Rodgers. They've beaten the Bucks, the Dolphins, the Bears, the Lions. New Orleans--

- It's hard to win six, seven in a row in the league.

- That was a playoff team that beat Detroit. Miami's a playoff team. I mean--

- Did you watch the Dolphin-- well actually, nobody watched the Dolphins last night.


- It was a good team.

- I did, unfortunately.

- I'm getting on that bandwagon with the Saints. I mean, they, look at their record, what they've done over the last month and a half. What are they, six in a row now, five, six in a row right now? You can discount that.

And I loved Marshon Lattimore, that defensive back--


- He's playing well.

- He's defensive rookie of the year. What he has done to that defense, they've stepped it up. Cameron Jordan's one of the best defensive end. He is a tough guy to block. Trust me, I've been there, done that, and did not do it. He is good.

And then Drew Brees. You said he's playing down. OK, maybe compared to that, I don't even know. I still think he might even have a chance to be that second half MVP. He played lights out yesterday, lights out. And he is so tough to beat in that dome.

I've been there five times in my career. And I think we won one time on our Atlanta teams. And we went to the playoffs three times.

We had good football teams. I'm getting on that bandwagon with the Saints. I think right now, that team is good.

ANNOUNCER 1: Winning's contagious.

- That team is good.

- Just looking at where the schedules are for both of these clubs, and like I say, still within the division, they're going to beat one another up. It's a game right now. It's one game.

- And by the way, New Orleans is the fourth youngest roster in the NFC. Carolina's got pro Bowl, veteran, reliable players. This league's all about the Kuechlys. It's all about the Greg Olsens. It's all about the Matt Kalils.

- Drew Brees is a Hall of Fame quarterback--

ANNOUNCER 2: Who's now--

- --who's riding a six, seven game winning streak, who's got a coach that's won the Super Bowl and is a very good play caller. And they're playing a little bit of defense.

ANNOUNCER 2: I like, listen, there are just certain things I like. In the NBA, come June, I like veterans. NFL gets cold, I like teams that can run and are veterans. I'm not into the vertical passing game post Thanksgiving.

- Did you see Cam Newton punk Ron Rivera during this game?

- No, listen. Cam is what he is. I've come to terms with what Cam is.

- Oh, why you throwing onto him punking him? They wanted to go [INAUDIBLE].

- Funchess was doing the same thing. No one even mentioned Funchess going crazy. Look, Funchess has been doing the exact same thing.

ANNOUNCER 1: Because no one knows who Funchess is.

- No, but what I'm saying, offensive guys, you see offensive guys wanting to go forward. No one's punking anyone. Stop that.

ANNOUNCER 2: That's little over the top.


- From both guys, the quarterback and the wide receiver, there's not respect.

- You have offensive guys that understand the importance right there. They feel like they can get it. They understand [INTERPOSING VOICES] winning that game.

- If corners do that or tight ends, I'm OK. You guys are all nuts. I don't want my quarterback. You guys out there on the island, the big egos.

- It's true.

- It's, you what you want.

- --quarterback doing that though.