The 2020 NFL season gets underway on September 10 when the Kansas City Chiefs kick-off their title defence against the Houston Texans.
That fixture will be the precursor to a busy weekend, with a further 15 games taking place over the following few days.
All four NFC South teams are in action on the Sunday, so read on as we take a look at a player on each roster who we feel could be the difference-maker this season.
Todd Gurley – Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons’ decision to sign Gurley on a one-year, $5.5 million deal following his release by the Los Angeles Rams certainly raised plenty of eyebrows around the NFL.
Gurley’s well-documented knee problems make this a risky move, but it is one that could pay off in huge style if he can stay fit throughout the campaign.
His average of 1,278 rushing yards, 4.8 yards per carry, 684 receiving yards and 20 combined touchdowns per year in 2017 and 2018 perfectly highlight his talents.
The three-time Pro Bowler’s workload is unlikely to be as heavy as it was with the Rams and his move to Atlanta could work out well for both parties.
Alvin Kamara – New Orleans Saints
Kamara is another player who will head into the season with a point to prove after an injury-hit campaign last time around.
Knee and ankle problems limited Kamara to just nine starts and he was largely anonymous as the Saints were bundled out of the play-offs by the Minnesota Vikings.
He scored 18 touchdowns in 2018 compared to just six last term, but he can be expected to trouble the scorers far more now he is 100 percent fit.
The Saints have one of the best rosters in the NFC and an on-song Kamara only serves to further improve their chances of success.
Tom Brady – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Six-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady will embark on a new challenge this season as he tries to lead the Buccaneers to glory.
The 43-year-old’s arrival in Tampa Bay has ramped up expectations around the club, although it remains to be seen whether he has still got what it takes to perform at the top level.
The Bucs’ success in tempting Rob Gronkowski out of retirement will help Brady and the former New England Patriots pair could cause mayhem this season.
Brady should also bring out the best out of wide receiver Mike Evans and the Bucs are likely to be the biggest challengers to the Saints in NFC South.
Christian McCaffrey – Carolina Panthers
McCaffrey was a standout performer for the Panthers in 2019, becoming just the third player ever to gain 1,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards during the same season.
Those efforts saw McCaffrey rewarded with a four-year, $64 million contract extension, making him the highest-paid running back in NFL history.
Although the Panthers may look to spread the workload around a little more this year, McCaffrey is undoubtedly expected to be a key player.
Whether that will be enough to take the Panthers to the play-offs is debatable, but it won’t be for the want of trying on McCaffrey’s part.