Saturday, December 16, 2017
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

NFL Quarterly Report: MVP and Super Bowl picks

The NFL season is a quarter of the way complete and nothing is as it might have seemed. The Vikings and Eagles are up, the Cardinals and Panthers are down. The Broncos and Patriots have been just fine, even without Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. With Brady set to return from a four-game suspension, the Times' Bucs/NFL coverage team looks at the biggest surprises and disappointments so far this season.

NFL MVP

Rick Stroud, @NFLStroud

MVP Von Miller. The Super Bowl MVP is leading the best defense in the NFL and the Broncos to a 4-0 record.

Tom Jones, @tomwjones

Carson Wentz, Eagles.

Read more:

NFL Quarterly Report: Biggest surprise and disappointment

NFL Quarterly Report: Players, teams to buy and sell

NFL Quarterly Report: Coach of the year and those on the hot seat

Greg Auman, @gregauman

It's early to pick which QB will sustain a strong start, but we'll go with go with Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger, who has 11 touchdowns and a QB rating over 100. If the AFC playoffs can go through Pittsburgh, the Steelers will be tough to beat.

Thomas Bassinger, @tometrics

Matt Ryan, Falcons. Through four games, Ryan leads the NFL in completion percentage (72.1 percent), yards (1,473), touchdowns (11), yards per attempt (10.5), quarterback rating (126.3) and QBR (95.0).

Ernest Hooper, @hoop4you

Von Miller, Denver Broncos

Martin Fennelly, @mjfennelly

Matt Ryan of the Falcons. He has come back from a ragged 2015 and cannot be stopped. The best quarterback at moment in best quarterback division in football. Yeah, even with Jameis present.

Super Bowl picks

Stroud

AFC champion New England Patriots

NFC champion Seahawks

Super Bowl champion Seahawks

Jones

AFC champion: Patriots.

NFL champion: Packers.

Super Bowl champion: Patriots

Auman

AFC champion: Patriots

NFC champion: Seahawks

Super Bowl champion: Seahawks

Bassinger

AFC champion: Steelers. With Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown and now Le'Veon Bell, this is the scariest offense in football.

NFC champion: Seahawks. Seattle's defense, which has allowed the fewest points in the league four straight seasons, is at it again this season, allowing 13.5 points per game. On offense, the Seahawks are leaning more than ever on Russell Wilson's arm. He's on pace to throw 532 passes and pass for 4,256 yards, both of which would be career highs.

Super Bowl champion: Seahawks. Seattle makes a case for dynasty of this decade

Hooper

AFC champion: New England Patriots

NFC champion: Seattle Seahawks

Super Bowl champion: New England Patriots

Fennelly

AFC champion: Patriots. Brady on way back. Fight for home field will be everything. Pats are in if they get it.

NFC champion: Packers. Green Bay is 2-1 and should be favored in most games the rest of the way. Rodgers has Jordy Nelson again and defense is better than last season.

Super Bowl champion: Packers. Rodgers outduels Brady, Belichick.

Comments
Nobody has Jameis Winston’s back more than Dirk Koetter, offensive coordinator Todd Monken insists

Nobody has Jameis Winston’s back more than Dirk Koetter, offensive coordinator Todd Monken insists

Nobody is a bigger supporter of Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston than head coach Dirk Koetter.That was the passionate message that offensive coordinator/receivers coach Todd Monken unloaded at his news conference Friday, saying that reports that Winst...
Updated: 23 minutes ago
Bucs journal: Adarius Glanton’s experience could come in handy for ailing LB corps

Bucs journal: Adarius Glanton’s experience could come in handy for ailing LB corps

TAMPA — The Bucs’ linebacker depth was tested during the first five weeks of the season, when Lavonte David and Kwon Alexander missed a combined six games with injuries.And now, as David is again sidelined by a hamstring injury, the experience gained...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Cannon Fodder podcast: Let’s revisit Monday night games in Bucs’ past

Cannon Fodder podcast: Let’s revisit Monday night games in Bucs’ past

Times Bucs writer Greg Auman has injury updates on Lavonte David and Gerald McCoy and a nostalgic trip through the Bucs’ history on Monday night, including the current three-game win streak and yes, that infamous 2003 Colts game where the Bucs were u...
Published: 12/15/17
Why the Bucs need a Dungy more than a Gruden

Why the Bucs need a Dungy more than a Gruden

TAMPA — The worst week of Dirk Koetter’s life rolls on.It’s Gruden Week, just like Shark Week, only with smaller teeth and a bigger playbook. It’s the big build-up to Gruden’s induction into the Buc Ring of Honor this Monday night, with the accompany...
Published: 12/15/17
Rick and Tom podcast: Is Dirk Koetter fighting for his job?

Rick and Tom podcast: Is Dirk Koetter fighting for his job?

In their latest podcast, Rick Stroud and Tom Jones discuss whether Dirk Koetter is fighting for his job the final three weeks of season. Is there a rift between him and Jameis Winston? Has Winston shown enough progress this year? And who are the Glaz...
Published: 12/15/17
Bucs’ Lavonte David misses practice with hamstring injury

Bucs’ Lavonte David misses practice with hamstring injury

TAMPA — The Bucs knew they might be playing without DT Gerald McCoy, who suffered a biceps injury early in Sunday’s loss to the Lions. But now they face the prospect of playing Monday against Atlanta without another of their defensive leaders, as LB ...
Published: 12/14/17
USF’s Nigel Harris eager for chance with hometown Bucs

USF’s Nigel Harris eager for chance with hometown Bucs

When Nigel Harris chose where to play college football, he wanted to stay home in Tampa at USF. And now, after playing for the Chargers and Giants as an NFL rookie, he's grateful for the chance to again prove himself in Tampa as the newest member of ...
Published: 12/14/17
NFL Week 15: Tampa Bay Times staff picks

NFL Week 15: Tampa Bay Times staff picks

Week 15 starts and ends with disappointment — a Thursday night meeting of two of the more disappointing teams (Denver at Indianapolis) and a Monday night game that once had held high hopes locally (Atlanta at Tampa Bay). Once.Here's our picks f...
Published: 12/14/17
Measuring Jameis Winston’s progress, and Dirk Koetter’s job security

Measuring Jameis Winston’s progress, and Dirk Koetter’s job security

TAMPA — It is one of the most honest moments of the season, captured in the first Hard Knocks episode. Jameis Winston is having a frank conversation with coach Dirk Koetter, seated behind his desk in his office at One Buc Place."I just want to have a...
Published: 12/14/17
Jones: If you were Jon Gruden, what would you do?

Jones: If you were Jon Gruden, what would you do?

What would you do?If you were Jon Gruden, what would you do?Well, you could go to Hooter’s and order a pitcher of beer and dozen wings. Then, Monday, you could go be inducted into the Bucs’ Ring of Honor.I’m talking about after that.Would you stay i...
Published: 12/14/17