We’ve seen the Super Bowl runner-up come from the NFC South during the past two seasons. Is the third time a charm?

If so, it will be a different team than the past two representatives, Carolina and Atlanta. And it will be even more surprising than those teams were in their respective seasons.

Here’s my look at the NFC South in regards to win totals. Last season, I was 1-2-1 in win totals for the division.

Atlanta Falcons

Over/under 9.5 (-115 o/-115 u)

Boy, was I wrong with Atlanta last year. I doubted the defense and didn’t believe the offense could be elite.

After missing so bad on the Falcons last year, I’m going all in again on them not being as good. A team is really good one season, and then falters the next in the NFC South. Since 2011, we’ve seen this trend play out.

Since that time, the winner of the NFC South in the previous year has downgraded its win total by at least five wins the next season, in every year except one. That’s tough history to beat.

And for the Falcons, this team doesn’t jump off paper like it should. The offense should be good once again, but is that defense going to follow? There were too many times last season where the offense bailed out the defense. And if that defense isn’t rushing the passer, I’m not sure if the Falcons can keep teams off the field.

The NFC South was down last season. That won’t be the case this year. — Verdict: Under

Carolina Panthers

Over/under 9 (-135 o/+105 u)

Everybody is pretty much in agreement that Carolina will be better. For the most part in the Cam Newton era, this is who the Panthers have become.

Since 2012, Carolina has traded losing seasons for winning seasons each year. Their win totals in that time period are seven, 12, seven, 15 and six. Newton is a pretty inconsistent passer, just like his ability to lead a team to winning records.

So it’s natural to believe he will be on top this season, with a supporting cast only two years removed from a 15-win campaign. The offensive line has to be better than a year ago, and something tells me the defense won’t be as ordinary as in 2016. This team will get back into their winning ways and should win at least 10 games. — Verdict: Over

New Orleans Saints

Over/under 8.5 (+105 o/-135 u)

That number seems high. What about the Saints has anyone excited? Drew Brees is a great professional, but he’s creeping up there in age.

The running back situation became weird in the offseason with the addition of Adrian Peterson to go along with Mark Ingram. Even with an elite offense, which the Saints have had for years, that doesn’t translate to victories.

This is about the defense, and I’m not sure they’re much better than their regular bottom-10 defense of years past. Nick Fairley is lost for the season, so that reinvigorated front four isn’t quite so vaunted now. I don’t buy into the Saints being an above-.500 team. — Verdit: Under

Tampa Bay should get some attention in Super Bowl odds for 2017. Flickr/http://bit.ly/1IAvBy4/Keith Allison

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Over/under 8.5 (-115 o/-115 u)

I love the Bucs. This is one of my favorite picks of all over/unders in the NFL.

Tampa Bay is going to be better this season. Tampa Bay improved in the offseason on offense, a dire need, with DeSean Jackson on the outside, and the addition of OJ Howard in the draft, who can step in on day one opposite of Cameron Brate to give quarterback Jameis Winston an advantage with two competent pass-catching tight ends.

And defensively, this team returns a number of starters from a unit that played much better down the stretch last season. The pieces are all there for Tampa Bay to make a run, so now’s the time to compete for a division title. — Verdict: Over

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