Folks are still bending over backward to try and trash the Tampa Bay Buccaneers despite a 2-0 start.
Old habits die hard, though. Experts spent the entire offseason shoveling dirt on top of the Bucs while writing them off before the season even started. We're only two weeks in, and the shock of how great the Bucs have looked so far hasn't fully set in.
Not everyone who dragged the Bucs continues to die on the hill. Peter King changed his tune after dubbing Tampa Bay the second-worst team in the league and Pat McAfee might have purchased the last available ticket to the Bucs bandwagon.
Where there's low-hanging fruit, hands will grasp. The Bucs are 2-0 but that's only motivating holdouts who won't acknowledge that the team looks good to find ways to drag Tampa Bay down.
CBS Sports drags Bucs despite 2-0 start to the season
In an NFL Power Ranking of the remaining undefeated teams, CBS Sports stuck the Bucs near the bottom while flicking its wrist at the team's 2-0 start.
"This is what happens when you set the bar extremely low," CBS Sports wrote. "With Baker Mayfield replacing the retired Tom Brady, the Buccaneers were tabbed a potential laughingstock. Instead, Todd Bowles’ defense has returned to form, clamping down on both the Vikings and Bears, while Mayfield has controlled the ball while feeding a motivated Mike Evans. At the very least, they are Grade-A feisty."
This is a tune Bucs fans have heard before, as it's a remix of greatest hits that have already been played. It's true that both the Vikings and Bears are not world-beating opponents, but good teams are supposed to put away bad ones when they play against them.
Last year the Bucs consistently struggled to do this, and never seemed to stay out of their own way. Comebacks by Tom Brady were met with a giant sigh of relief rather than used as building blocks, which is something that feels very different about this year's squad.
Neither of Tampa Bay's wins have featured comeback heroics, nor should they have. The Bucs were in a position to close out Minnesota and Chicago and didn't falter in that task. Both games were close but there was clear growth from one game to the next, specifically in adjustments by the coaching staff -- something else we didn't really see last year.
It's clear the Buccaneers have work to do before they're considered a top-tier team, but the idea that they've simply gotten lucky over the first two weeks is horribly misguided. We're about to learn a lot about this team in the coming weeks, with hard games against good opponents, but until then the Bucs have very much earned their flowers.