The Tampa Bay Buccaneers may be 3-3 and coming off two consecutive wins, that doesn’t mean they’re actually respected around the league now.
In today’s power rankings, SB Nation’s Adam Stites gives the Bucs just a three-spot boost to number 24, and it doesn’t get much better in most other rankings. NFL.com: 21. CBS Sports: 21. Fox Sports: 24. Yahoo! Sports: 25. ESPN: 20. Only Pro Football Talk ranks the Bucs higher than 20, at number 18. It’s just not all that encouraging.
Mostly, that’s because the two teams the Bucs have beaten in the past two games aren’t particularly impressive. Both the San Francisco 49ers and the Carolina Panthers are two of the worst teams in the league, by most reckonings, which gives the Bucs two more wins, but analysts not a ton of confidence that they’re a good team.
A win this Sunday would probably change a lot more minds, though. That’s when they take on the Oakland Raiders. A team that is actually, well, good. If the Bucs can beat Oakland, keeping in mind that they’ve also already beaten Atlanta, that’ll be a sign that the Bucs are really contenders.