The Tampa Bay Buccaneers broke their five-game winning streak by, among other things, turning over the ball four times against the Dallas Cowboys. That’s disappointing, but does it really mean the Bucs are worse than they seemed, or did they just run up against a very good team?
While power rankings aren’t exactly reliable or accurate, they do give us a view of how NFL analysts and observers see teams. And despite the loss, the Bucs mostly stayed in the same spot this week. Probably in large part because the Cowboys are (seen as) one of the best teams in the NFL, and the Bucs weren’t that far off winning the game.
Which is why SB Nation’s Adam Stites has them ranked 11th, Yahoo! Sports ranks them 14th, CBS Sports 13th, the Washington Post 14th (though down from 7th), NFL.com 13th (actually a two-spot rise), ESPN 12th, USA Today 12th and Pro Football Focus 15th.
In other words: the Bucs are a slightly above average team, on the verge of being playoff quality. Which is right about where the Bucs are in the standings now, too. That’s better than the Bucs have been in years, though — and a few lucky breaks could get them into the playoffs, and further.