When you enter a season like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers did in 2017 there’s a lot of expectations which come along with the amount of buzz the team had built in the off-season. And when you perform to a 5-11 finish, there’s a lot of pain and anguish as well.
It’s no surprise then, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have found this off-season to be filled with cautioned hope and overwhelming undervalue.
The disrespect is going to continue until the season kicks off and this 2018 version of the Bucs shows the world they are who we thought they were. Hopefully.
But for now the pain-train continues as another list has once again placed our beloved Tampa football franchise near the bottom of the barrel.
NFL Spin Zone’s Dan Parzych published his post-mincamp power rankings for the NFL, and the Bucs came in 24th. This places the team in the bottom quarter of the league.
Why so low?
Here’s a bit of what Parzych had to say about the team,
"“From poor play on the defensive side of the football to Jameis Winston failing to take full advantage of DeSean Jackson playing alongside Mike Evans in the passing game, there was a lot of blame to go around for Tampa Bay’s struggles. All of a sudden, Dirk Koetter better hope the results are much different this time around in 2018, or the head coach may be looking for work by the time the offseason rolls around…”"
Sharp words. And accurate unfortunately.
Joining them in this bottom quadrant are (from 32nd to 25th) the Indianapolis Colts, Miami Dolphins, Cleveland Browns, New York Jets, Cincinnati Bengals, Chicago Bears and New York Giants.
There are a few teams I would stack the Tampa Bay Buccaneers up against and feel confident the team would come out victorious. The Baltimore Ravens for one. Unless Lamar Jackson can be this year’s Deshaun Watson, I just don’t see how they are much better than a team who happens to play in a division with the Bengals and Browns.
However, the Washington Redskins represent the team I feel should most be under the Bucs in any power rankings.
Parzych’s own description of the Redskins actually is part of my reasoning for disliking the fact they are put ahead of Tampa.
It’s all Alex Smith. Not for nothing, but the last time Smith was a quarterback capable of single-handedly taking a franchise to the promised land was, well, never. Maybe in Utah?
Now, I don’t believe Smith is as bad as some 49ers and Chiefs fans think he is, but he’s not going to have the weapons and defense he had with Kansas City.
Oh, and he’s not playing in a division with an underperforming Raiders and Chargers teams, and the Broncos team trying to re-identify an identity.
They’re going up against Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott and the Dallas Cowboys. A now healthy Odell Beckham Jr., Eli Manning and Giants defense which is better than they looked last year. Oh, and the Super Bowl champions.
The Bucs are in a tough division of their own, granted, but I see them coming out on top of the NFC South much more than I can see the Redskins coming out on top of the NFC East.
I guess Derrius Guice is just going to be that good.
Not surprisingly the other three NFC South teams finished ahead of the Bucs.
Carolina came in at eleven while the Falcons and Saints hit the list at eight and seven respectively. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have some ground to cover if they’re going to get back into national conversations.
This list just further proves it. But seriously…behind the Redskins?