For the second year in a row, a quarterback from the NFC South is on the cusp of making his Super Bowl debut. On the heels of Cam Newton’s arrival on the NFL’s biggest stage last year, Matt Ryan gets there this year.
That leaves Jameis Winston of the Buccaneers as the only current NFC South starter not to have reached the Super bowl. At least one NFL analyst believes, however, that Winston’s Super Bowl debut is not far off.
Asked on the Mike & Mike show on ESPN radio/tv on Tuesday which quarterback will be the next to make his Super Bowl debut, former NFL safety Ryan Clark wowed the hosts when he predicted Winston will get there ahead of the likes of Dak Prescott and Derek Carr.
“I think Tampa is moving in the right direction,’’ Clark said. “And in order for him to make (that) debut they’re going to have to break through some of (the teams) we expect to be there year in and year out, but being in the NFC South, they change the champion of that division year to year.’’
Hosts Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg predicted Dak Prescott of the Cowboys and Derek Carr of the Raiders would be the next quarterbacks to make their Super Bowl debut, which makes sense when you consider both are playing on what this past year were better teams.
Clark’s suggestion that Winston will get there ahead of them, though, is just the latest example of someone on the national scene suggesting the Bucs are a team on the rise and seemingly predicting that a championship is in their near future.
You may remember that last week, also on ESPN, Vikings running back Adrian Peterson listed the Bucs as one of the teams he’d consider going to should the Vikings decided against keeping him and his $17.5 million contract.
Peterson didn’t mention Winston by name when giving his reasons for picking the Bucs, but he did say that a team on the cusp of winning a title was part of his criteria for a potential new home and that he believes, like Clark, that the Bucs are on the rise.