It didn't take long for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers revenge tour to get started.
The Bucs traveled up to Minnesota in Week 1 and beat a Vikings team that many experts are picking to win the NFC North. It wasn't just that the Bucs won, it was that they did so by looking markedly better than they were expected to be based on all of the negative offseason talk.
Once Tom Brady retired the Bucs became easy targets for pundits to take shots at. From being dubbed the second-worst team in the league to topping lists of teams expected to tank for Caleb Williams, the consensus was that the team would fade back into irrelevancy.
That didn't happen in Week 1, and it wasn't just the Vikings who got punched in the mouth.
The Bucs turned in an overall gritty performance, one that saw Baker Mayfield hit a rythym and the defense look absolutely ferocious. Todd Bowles made gutsy calls we saw him shy away from last year, and the mistakes seemed to be at a minumum -- a massive step in the right direction from where things were a year before.
There's still work that needs to be done, but it's almost impossible to deny that the Bucs looked really good on Sunday -- or so you'd think.
NFL Power Rankings still disrespect Bucs despite gritty Week 1 win
Rather than put up a hand and admit the gun was jumped on declaring the Bucs season over, pundits merely inched off their offseason predictions.
In almost every major NFL Power Ranking, the Bucs moved up marginally from where they were to start the season -- which was near the bottom. Beating a team the very same experts are picking to be a Super Bowl contender apparently isn't enough to earn any respect.
Here's where the Buccaneers rank in each of the lastest NFL Power Rankings after Week 1:
Only Pete Prisco over as CBS Sports was brave enough to give the Bucs their flowers, ranking them 17th in his power rankings.
Tampa Bay's slight move in the rankings feels like a technicality rather than an actual acknowledgment that something good was accomplished. The Bucs defense hustled the Vikings on Sunday, sacking Kirk Cousins twice and turning him over three times. Key plays were made that would have been hailed had they been made elsewhere -- such as Christian Izien's clutch goal line interception that ended up impacting the final score.
It's not hard to see why the Bucs aren't getting much respect, because habits like the ones formed by the offseason narrative are hard to break. The Bucs are trying, though, and a few more gutsy performances like the one we saw on Sunday will make it hard to deny them the respect they're starting to deserve.