The latest SB Nation NFL power rankings have the Bucs in ninth place. A top ten team, in other words. It’s a trend of increasing respect for the Bucs’ performance over the last year among third-party analysts, though not so much among those who rely on models and metrics.
I could write something about how power rankings are meaningless and just one person’s feelings but, you know, I think we all get how that works and also, what if the Bucs actually are a top ten team?
What if, somehow, the Bucs have put together a team that is very good? What if Jameis Winston takes a few more steps forward and can carry an offense? What if Noah Spence does turn into a 15-sack guy? What if, shock of all shocks, Brent Grimes leads the NFL in interceptions?
A top ten team, of course, is not quite the same as a Super Bowl team. Top ten teams fail to make the playoffs with some regularity, and many of them never win a playoff game. But, well, it’d still be a massive improvement over anything the Bucs have managed in the past decade. So top ten, here the Bucs come!