The Tampa Bay Buccaneers finished the 2018 season as the league’s 28th ranked team, or fifth-worst. However, an off-season already filled with a lot of significant changes, and more to come, have this team on the verge of becoming everyone’s pre-season sleeper.
Everyone, that is, except for ESPN apparently.
In releasing their self-proclaimed ‘way-too-early’ power rankings of NFL teams ahead of the 2019 league year, the network showed their hand and told every franchise exactly what they think of them.
For the Bucs, this means being labeled as 24th out of a possible 32 franchises.
But, wait a minute, isn’t that higher than they finished in 2018? Yes. Yes it is. And it’s still too low.
Here’s why. It’s well documented that the Buccaneers had the most potent passing attack in the NFL between the goal lines. Getting the ball across the goal line was another matter.
Bringing in new head coach and quarterback whisperer Bruce Arians will help fix that issue. This fact alone should bump the team up about five spots in the power rankings.
Add to it the addition of Todd Bowles as defensive coordinator and the promise of a coaching staff who is more interested in making things work for their players rather than making their players work for them, and this is a team who should be Top-20.
It might just be me, but the teams currently ranked behind the Buccaneers are...
27. Detroit Lions
29. Buffalo Bills
30. New York Jets
31. Oakland Raiders
...and they all belong behind the Bucs. No arguments there. Not from me, anyway.
However, there are some teams ranked ahead of the Bucs which I don’t feel belong there.
Such as the Miami Dolphins, who not only fired their head coach but have no idea what they’re doing at the quarterback position.
I don’t know if anyone has ever muttered the words that quarterback questions are the key to successful NFL teams, but if they have I’ve never heard them. Add to it a questionable hire at the head coaching position, and the franchise is definitely trending downward as far as league comparisons are concerned.
The New York Giants are also ranked ahead of the Buccaneers, and again, what is happening at the quarterback position combined with an underperforming defense. Not good.
I may be looking at this from a holistic stand-point while the ESPN writers who combined on this look at it from a final finish point of view. The Atlanta Falcons rank 18th on the back of credit given due to returning players from injury in 2019. Tampa Bay had plenty of those as well.
We could go on and on about this, and maybe we will on the Locked on Bucs podcast sometime next week. But in the meantime, check out the rankings for yourself and let us know where you think the 2019 Tampa Bay Buccaneers should sit in this ‘way-too-early’ power rankings.
Where are the Buccaneers in your personal NFL power rankings?
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