Power rankings give, power rankings take away. After receiving a clobbering at the hands of the Minnesota Vikings and falling to 1-2, no one seems to believe in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers anymore. At least not among those making national power rankings.
SB Nation’s Adam Stites ranks the Bucs all the way down at number 21, and focuses on Jameis Winston in his explanation.
Another year, another season where Jameis Winston at quarterback is like spinning a roulette wheel. Sometimes he leads 29-7 victories like in Week 2, and other times he throws three interceptions and the Buccaneers lose badly.
Tampa Bay has been waiting for Winston to stop making silly mistakes, but it seems engrained in his DNA.
Yes, it is. Winston is Brett Favre, basically—a very good, risk-taking quarterback who will always have some turnover issues. Peyton Manning was often like that, too—he never had a season with fewer than 10 interceptions. It’s fine, as long as the production is there—and it wasn’t.
Besides, Winston’s struggles were hardly the reason for the Bucs’ loss—and his performance wasn’t the main reason for the team’s win in week two, either. Both of those were driven by defensive performances that are giving me whiplash.
Similarly, Mark Maske of the Washington Post ranks the Bucs 19th, as does Yahoo! Sports’ Frank Schwab, and ESPN. NJ.com ranks them 17th, even, while the Detroit Free Press drops them to 20. Pro Football Talk even follows Stites and goes with a number 21 ranking.
None of that is good, of course, but it’s still early in the season. Hopefully that Vikings game was just a blip, and not an indication of structural issues.