NFL.com recently released the newest iteration of their highly debatable power rankings. Our beloved Tampa Bay Buccaneers come in way down the list (my trackpad could feel the anger in my fingertips as I had to scroll WAY down before finding the Bucs) coming in at number 20.
The write up focuses exclusively on the tight end position and the Buccaneers lack of a true pass catcher at that spot. They mention that Luke Stocker could end up becoming the guy, but I still see Tom Crabtree getting more playing time than the oft injured Stocker.
I could sit and complain about how the Bucs are too low all day long, but that’s what the rest of the site will prove, what surprised me even more is the fact that not only were the Panthers ranked below the Bucs, but so too were the Saints.
New Orleans came in one slot below the Buccaneers at number 21. So while most people are expecting more from Drew Brees and the Saints this year, NFL.com seems to be one of the few who actually understand how abysmal that defense really is.
The only real addition the Saints made on that side of the ball was drafting safety Kenny Vaccaro. They’ve also hired Rob Ryan to take over the coordinator duties, but he instantly came in and changed up the system. The Saints will now run a 3-4 putting even more pressure on Will Smith and the linebacking corps.
When a defense is bad, changing where everyone plays isn’t going to fix the problem, and heck the learning period alone may make them even worse off. Sure the offense is great, but they are going to need to score 40+ every week to consistently win games. Not likely.
As for the Panthers, they came in at 22. For me, too high. The Lions, Cardinals, Titans, and Chiefs all rank lower than the Panthers. Questionable quarterback play (I still don’t think Cam Newton is any good) and a brutal offensive line, not a good mix.
So while the Buccaneers are probably five or six slots lower than they should be, it’s nice to see a national outlet ranking the Buccaneers second in the division. Hopefully by the end of Week 2, that becomes more of a foregone conclusion than just a posted power ranking.