NFL Power Rankings: Buccaneers remain shockingly high
By Rob Leeds
NFL Power Rankings have little bearing on the actual talent of a team, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are still rated too high in this week’s iteration.
The NFL Power Rankings have been fun to follow this year as a Buccaneers supporter. For a team that has fallen to the lower rankings consistently over the years, seeing the team in the top-5 is a unique experience.
The Buccaneers have been one of the better teams in the NFL so far this season, but the Bucs have received a substantial amount of help from the Tom Brady effect.
Ever since Brady arrived in Tampa Bay, the Bucs have been seen as an immediate Super Bowl favorite. The same thing happens when any big-name free agent joins a new team in the offseason, but the Bucs’ status was overblown in almost every way imaginable.
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The NFC isn’t great this season, but the Bucs haven’t even looked like the best team in their division, much less the conference. Wins are great, but upon a brief evaluation of the wins and the opponents, the Bucs haven’t looked like a top-10 team this year, making their ranking this week all the more surprising.
According to ESPN, the Bucs roll in at eighth in the overall rankings. Eighth feels far too generous and doesn’t appear to consider just how bad the Bucs have looked at times this season, especially on Sunday night.
That game alone was one of the worst for Brady and the Buccaneers in their respective existences, and there are no ways to explain that loss away.
The Buccaneers have been dominated by the Saints twice, played an extremely close game with one of the worst teams in the league in the New York Giants, lost to a painfully mediocre Bears team, and also played close games with numerous other underwhelming opponents.
Tampa Bay’s coaching staff is clearly holding the team back, but the players’ performances have not inspired ‘eighth overall’ confidence either.
On this list, the Bucs are rated above the Titans, Cardinals, Rams, and Colts, four teams that would dominate the team that has shown up the last few weeks. Tampa Bay could field a good team, but talent alone should not lead to such an overhyped ranking.
The season is not over for the Buccaneers, and there is still plenty of time to improve (6-3 is not something that most fans would take issue with). Still, it is time for the team to quit sleepwalking and to finally live up to the massive expectations that are so obviously achievable.