i'd say phillip rivers. same with norv, actually. always talented. always just a little short (except last year when they were far short.)
i'm also going to say cam newton. the dude is raising the bar in a big way and he's going to be put under as much or more scrutiny than peyton manning to win it all. hopefully it will come a bit easier and more often.
probably the biggest pressure will come, unfortunately, just because of the color of his skin. i've got the feeling there's a lot riding on him because of that and that's unfortunate. i think he can take it all in stride, though.
I think Newton is the complete
opposite of what youre proposing (having the most pressure to win an SB this year). Still some rebuilding left to do. Great start though and top marks and credit to Newton for proving the naysayers (me inc) were full of it. I dont think ive seen (or will see) a single source namecheck Carolina as a potential SB winner this off-season.
Agreed ref: Romo & Flacco for slightly different reasons (both contractually related after a fashion tho)
Romo is now 32 (Flacco at least has youth and play-off wins under his belt) and is only signed thru 2013. Failure in 2012 means DAL start looking for the next guy...
Can anyone say Romo has EVER lacked for receiving weapons? Some yrs hes been without a complete running game - true. But some yrs he hasnt and its not like other teams havent won an SB or two with a less than conventional running game, but cant think of any off-hand that have ever done it without at least one truly good receiving option - Romo has always had two.
No way can i envisage JJ saying "Erm, yeah okay im going to reward a 34 yo QB who's consistently underperformed in the post season, despite the huge amount of time, resources and opportunity ive given him - lets make it rain!!". He underperforms in 2012 he'll either lowball him on an extension or trades him in his final yr (2013) to one of the many QB needy teams for a final payday if he can pick up a bluechip draft QB in the same year.
Flacco on the other hand can legitimately say a couple of things. Hes had very few seasons of having that receiving weapon all Sb winners have around him. Mason was past his sell by when he arrived being harsh but honest, Boldin wouldve helped if theyd had a consistent WR1 - but again is past it. Stallworth got IRd. So hes done more than Romo w/less.
Conversely the BAL defense has won/ kept games within his reach for a platform to win. Thats even before we get to Ray Rice and the BAL running game year-on-year (be it McGahee, Mclain or Rice - barring i think 1yr its been a good offensive unit). The defense is creaking, but i like the moves theyve made over the past couple of seasons and doubt it topples very far from its perch in years to come even w/out "that" trinity of defensive players (Suggs, Reed, Lewis).
He aint the best QB in the league, but hes done alright w/what hes got? Could others have done similarly? Who knows. But after Romo i think he's the guy under the most pressure to win an SB. Most of the pressure Flacco is generating is coming from his own mouth as well as the expectation that the vertical threats he now has should be pro bowl ready overnight. Smith is only in his 2nd yr and only has one rookie camp under his belt. Im sure he'll be productive, but it still takes time esp when youve gotten by on pure speed for a long time.
Rivers? Poor performance, question marks on mathews longevity over a full workload season plus all change at WR (oustside of gates) - i think SDC are more dark horses than favorites for an SB berth this year. Bit like the Saints sans SP as HC
As for the Qbs under the most pressure? Take your pick: Matt Hasselbeck, Alex Smith, Matt Flynn, Matt Moore, Kevin Kolb, Josh freeman, (Luck & Bob Griff to a degree, but for me they get a mulligan despite the weight of their franchises' on their repsective shoulders - Weeden is on shakier ground), Peyton Manning, MARK SANCHEZ!
Part & parcel of the gig. You get paid the big bucks because the job and the scrutiny aint one many ppl can carry off.