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Your first Buccaneers Super Bowl prediction of 2017

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We haven’t seen one of these in quite some time.

Super Bowl XXXVII Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images

We talked about some pessimistic analysis of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this morning, so now it’s time to talk about the bright side. That is: a random NFL.com writer (Adam Rank, to be precise) saying the Bucs will make it to the Super Bowl, in the context of a series of this-is-why-you-should-root-for-each-team articles.

This team is poised for a run. Jameis Winston is on the verge of being one of the best quarterbacks in the game. He's topped 4,000 passing yards in his first two seasons, and that number is only going to go up. Especially when you have Mike Evans, who is ready to assume the mantle of best receiver in the game. Watching Evans play, it almost seems unfair that a guy that big can do the things he's able to do. And then you surrounded him with speedster DeSean Jackson and rookie tight end O.J. Howard.

Wait does Rank realize there’s also such a thing as defense? Because I don’t see a word about that in there, and it’s kind of crucial to this whole playing-NFL-football thing. I don’t know. Seems like we may be overlooking some factors, here.

Of course, there is a case to be made for a Bucs Super Bowl. Jameis Winston could be poised to take a big step and become a true top ten quarterback, Mike Evans has been getting better every year, and the offense really is stocked.

Equally importantly, the Bucs have a lot of talent on defense—if Brent Grimes can hang in there another year, Gerald McCoy can keep playing up to his level and Noah Spence can take that next step, the Bucs could genuinely have an outstanding team. One good enough to win the NFC South, and hopefully go a lot further.

The Bucs will say that reaching that Super Bowl is their goal, and we can imagine a path to that place. For now, though, I’d be pretty happy with getting to the playoffs for once. A Super Bowl spot seems a bit out there, let alone a Super Bowl win—though perhaps that’s just my cynicism honed by years of Bucs disappointment speaking.