Behind Jameis Winston, Cam Newton, Matt Ryan and Drew Brees, the NFC South is developing a reputation for having some of the NFL's top passers. Ryan and Newton won the NFL's MVP award in 2016 and 2015, respectively. Brees is a future Hall of Famer with a championship under his belt and Winston was the first quarterback in NFL history to begin his career with back-to-back 4,000-yard passing seasons.
How does the NFL South stack up against other divisions? Fairly well, according to NFL.com. In a recent article, Adam Schein ranked every division's quarterbacks, with the Buccaneers landing at the top of the list.
"The NFC South's QB quartet is in a league of its own right now," Schein wrote. "Ryan is fresh off a sensational MVP season and is set up for greatness again in 2017. Newton took home the hardware the year before and boasts one of the rarest skill sets in the NFL today."
"Brees has more 5,000-yard seasons (five) than every other quarterback in NFL history combined (Dan Marino, Tom Brady, Matthew Stafford and Peyton Manning each have one). He's Canton bound ... yet still terrorizing defenses in his late 30s. And with the weapons Tampa Bay added this offseason, Winston is poised for a true breakout as he guides the Bucs back to the postseason. It's not hard to imagine any of these four QBs making an MVP push in 2017."
Three of the past eight Super Bowls have had an NFC South quarterback playing, including the past two.
The impact this has on the Buccaneers is open to interpretation. The fact that Winston is a contributing member to such a prestigous group speaks volumes about his skill level and potential. But it also means that Tampa Bay's defense will have to square up against top-tier quarterbacks in each of their six divisional games.
According to Schein, the No. 2 division is in the same conference as the Buccaneers. Schein ranked the NFC East's quarterbacks as the NFL's second-best, followed by the AFC West and NFC North. The NFC West's quarterbacks came in as the league's worst, according to Schein. For his complete list, click HERE.