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NFL Power Rankings: Buccaneers drop back to the pack

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Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost last Thursday, effectively eliminating themselves from the playoffs by failing to show up two weeks in a row. That's not good -- and it's not good for the way the rest of the NFL sees them. The Bucs have gone from playoff contender to just one of a large pack of losing teams in a few weeks. That's reflected in power rankings, too.

Danny Kelly has the Bucs ranked 20th, down three spots from last week -- lowest among the 6-8 teams, which seems a little harsh. Certainly two losses in a row is bad, but the Bucs haven't been terrible this season, just inconsistent. But most sites agree with Kelly: NFL.com ranks them 19th, Yahoo! 18thUSA Today 22nd and mlive.com 18th.

The dream of being a respected team is over. Hell, the dream of being a quality team is over. The Bucs have proven themselves to have the potential to be good in the near future -- just not right now.