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NFL executives chime in on Buccaneers Super Bowl chances

In a poll conducted by The Athletic, five execs give their thoughts

NFL: Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers-White House Visit Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

As the Tampa Bay Buccaneers get set to set sail on their repeat Super Bowl efforts, many people are speculating about whether or not the team can avoid the dreaded ‘hangover effect’.

You know the one. It helped keep the Bucs from achieving any playoff success following their 2002-03 championship season. A hangover that lasted...until 2020.

Several players from Tampa Bay’s first Super Bowl squad have admitted they perhaps loved themselves a little too much following their dominance of the Oakland Raiders back then.

The 2021 Buccaneers are bound and determined not to fall into the same trap and have a pretty good leader in Tom Brady who certainly knows what it takes to win, and win again.

During a time of year where plenty of speculation is had, The Athletic’s Mike Sando reached out to five NFL executives to get their thoughts and ranked the responses into nine groups.

Groups titled ‘Super Six’, ‘Furious Four’, ‘So you’re saying there’s a chance’, all the way down to ‘Draft Order Dreamers’.

Certainly don’t want to be in that last grouping.

Where are the Tampa Bay Buccaneers? If you’re still somewhat expecting the team to be further down than the ‘Super Six’, you should know I understand your hesitance in believing anyone outside of the Bucs fans or organization has confidence in the franchise. Even now.

However, head coach Bruce Arians’ squad is absolutely in that first group of six which Sando describes as, “The six true Super Bowl contenders.”

Tampa Bay isn’t number one. No, that’s the Kansas City Chiefs. A trend we’ve seen, and truthfully, it’s splitting hairs to nitpick too much about who should be No. 1 and 1a.

“Tom Brady and the offense should be better with a full season together,” Sando writes in the article. “...plus a fuller offseason than teams experienced in 2020.”

Joining the Bucs and Chiefs in the Top-6 cream of the crop group are the Green Bay Packers, Buffalo Bills, Seattle Seahawks, and Los Angeles Rams.

The most intriguing of those teams for this writer is the Rams who will look to become just the second team in NFL history to play in, and host, a Super Bowl. Of course, they’d be one year too late for making history. If writing ‘lol’ in a column wasn’t considered unprofessional I’d write ‘lol’ there. Lol.

Of the host city Rams, Sando writes, “There’s no guarantee Matthew Stafford will flourish in a better environment. Durability is another potential concern. But pairing him with Sean McVay on a team that could have a top-five defense makes the Rams very interesting.”

If the Buccaneers can’t win the Super Bowl again, it might be small consolation for Tampa native Matthew Stafford to win one. Maybe.

Perhaps the guys over at Loose Cannons could host a boat-party-wing-cookoff-celebration for him. Ranch all around, of course.