Bucs 12th Best In NFC?

June 27th, 2013

The latest power rankings on NFL.com rank the Bucs at No. 20 but, more troubling, 12th among NFC teams.

News flash: there are only 16 teams in the conference. Six make the playoffs.

Analyst Elliot Harrison was the evaluator. And it’s no surprise he was focused on whether Josh Freeman can make the leap from talented to winner.

Freeman does have a load of pressure on him, but in many ways he doesn’t. No. 5 has a stout running game, a phenomenal offensive line, two true stud receivers, and a comfort level within his offense. A quarterback couldn’t ask for much more.

51 Responses to “Bucs 12th Best In NFC?”

  1. flmike Says:

    Are you shocked? They were 7-9 last season, and no writer wants to be blasted by either his editor or the public for picking a 7-9 team to be any better the the next season. They (Bucs) have to prove it on the field this season before anyone is going to take them seriously as a contender. But of course they will pick the Saints to go to the Super Bowl based solely on the fact that Sean Payton is back totally ignoring the fact that their defense is now being run by Rex the wonder dog’s idiot brother, but don’t worry, Bresus will play corner as well as QB.

  2. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    Having a healthy Revis will allow us to play 8 men in the box on nearly every down. But, our pass rush must appear, our it will be another losing season for us again.

  3. BucsfaninChina Says:

    Bucs get no respect? Big surprise

  4. TrueBlue Says:

    Sports writers are not known as risk takers. Far better to jump on the bandwagon after the band starts playing. That way they don’t have to do any real in depth research.

  5. Justin Says:

    Everyone from the outside looks right at Freeman and they predict us based on his erratic play.

    I’d answer them with this question: If we had Revis, Goldson, healthy Clayborn/Bowers last year how many games would we have won?

    The answer is probably 10-11 games.

    If Freeman improves even marginally, which I believe he will, this is a legit playoff team. A top 10 offense from last year intact and a much improved defensive unit.

  6. the_buc_realist Says:

    If anyone is shocked by this, then you have not been paying attention the last 4 years. The Boy-genius Gm has building this team at glacier speed. Maybe all the free agents will gel after this year though.

  7. Kodaslc Says:

    after the first 4 weeks of the season everybody will be jumping on the bandwagon because I really see us being either 4-0 or 3-1 at worst. Jets game is a win, Arizona should also be a win, NE without Gronk or Hernandez put Revis on Danny A and we should shut them down only if, I see is really Saints. and if we want to let people know we are for real we beat a division rival early and bad !!!

  8. Buc'n Junkie Says:

    9 – 7 .. 10 – 6

  9. JH Says:

    Is it football season yet… *sigh*

  10. Buc'n Junkie Says:

    ‘That would be better than 12th in the NFC. Harrison evidently thinks we can’t win more than 9 games.

  11. Architek Says:

    This team is loaded and if we had a dependable commodity at qb we would be favored but there’s a lot to prove and we all will be waiting to see.

  12. Sneedy16 Says:

    The assumption is that we need sacks to be successful on defense. If you look at what Revis did with the Jets it’s a telling sign that he basically makes the defense better all around. I bet no one can name a player from the Jets roster that had over 7 sacks, during the times they made it to the AFC championship game. That’s because they didn’t have any.

    In 2009 the Jets sacked the QB 32 times that’s 5 more than us last year and not one person over 6 sacks, the same for 2010, 40 sacks and not one person over 6 sacks. 2011, 35 sacks not one person over 6 sacks. During that time span they had the top pass and rushing defense in the league. Last year they lost Revis and their rushing defense drops to 26. Revis takes his man out, so basically you have a free man who can blitz.

    Maybe it’s just me, but I think this defense is really underrated. I’m sure Revis is coming back 100%, but I just don’t know how many games it will take for him to get there. The “Revis Effect” is in Tampa and I know that our Dline can get more than 6 sacks from one person. I know that Josh is a better QB than the “Butt Fumbler”.

    I’ll drink the Kool-aid and say playoffs, but everyone knows that there are always injury concerns.

  13. OB Says:

    Joe who cares what we are rated now? It is what we are at the end of the season that counts. If I remember correctly, no one picks us for the SB when we won, maybe you did, at the beginning of the season. All everyone talks about is how is Freeman going to do, but no one is saying what is Martin’s running behind our healed line going to do and what options does this give the passing game or do we need it that much with a shut down defense?

    As Justin said, how many more would we have won with a better defense? No one but you and the locals seem to even know that David and Foster exist, but I bet the other coaches do, and GMC is just going to keep on trucking over all of them and his healed buddies are going to convoy. Could not help saying that because I believe the entire defense will convoy the other team to a lot of losses.

  14. Oil Derrick Brooks Says:


    I think the reasons that you listed as not having pressure, is the exact reason for the pressure.

    No longer can they say he needs a running game, can’t say he needs talented receivers, can’t say he has a swiss cheese line, and it’s second year in the offense….

    If he struggles, there are no more fingers to be pointed, except at him.

    I would think he knows and wants that. Especially if his agent wants Big boy QB money.

    I really hope he puts it together.

  15. James Pearls Says:

    Joe, What do you think happens if Free has a PRETTY GOOD season (not bad but not great) e.g. 22tds, 8ints and we go say 9-7 or 10-6 and miss the playoffs? Do we franchise him?

  16. James Pearls Says:

    franchise tag*

  17. the_buc_realist Says:

    Joe, Thank you for posting all these experts ranking from Nfl analysts. When the few who really know football try to give the sheep realistic expectations for the sheep here, they name call and say we are the “haters”. It is nice to read from professionals that share the insights of real Nfl projections.

  18. Rob Says:

    I think they’re better than the Bears and Cowboys, but it’s tough to put them ahead of any of the rest of those teams until we see it on the field.

  19. Cannon Says:

    Its definitely a make or break year for Josh Freeman.

    I, for one, think its going to be a great year (barring serious injury(s))

  20. Joe Says:


    Joe, What do you think happens if Free has a PRETTY GOOD season (not bad but not great) e.g. 22tds, 8ints and we go say 9-7 or 10-6 and miss the playoffs? Do we franchise him?

    Likely. Given your scenario, Freeman returns, no question. Whether that is a franchise tag or he signs a deal, that’s anyone’s guess.

  21. BucDan Says:

    Like I mentioned in another post, we shouldn’t harp too much on these media ratings.

    The Bucs are the Rodney Dangerfield of the NFL.

  22. robert Says:

    I think we’re better than 12th best!!!!

    @ least mid pack. maybe eigth.
    and when Josh lights it up we’ll be in the top 4-6

  23. the_buc_realist Says:

    The low rating is easy to see why. All that has to happen is look when Freeman gets on the so called ” hot streak”. Its always against sub .500 teams. Jfro-6pak really shrinks and disappears when play solid teams or there are playoff ramifications. That why the team tried to instill the every game is a 1 game season. They were trying to take pressure off the QB.

  24. mark2001 Says:

    Believe I remember another article from this numbskull on the NFL website. I don’t know who he is related to or who he sleeps with, but this guy is way out there. You really have to wonder what NFL.com sees in him.

  25. WestCoastBucsFan Says:

    I would not expect anything less from the national media. They rarely deviate from the past season’s win/loss record. This time last year we were ranked 27th coming off of a 4-12 season.


    We are a 7-9 team until proven otherwise. We still have the second worst pass defense in NFL history until the regular season starts. I don’t expect any love just because we signed a free agent and traded for Revis.


    “Maybe all the free agents will gel after this year though.”

    Yes, hopefully all two of the free agent/traded starters this year gel in time to be good next year. SMH.

    By the way, these “experts” had the playoff bound Vikings ranked 28th this time last year. The Colts were ranked 31st. While these analysts are well respected, they can, have, and will be completely wrong at times. Stop acting like this proves the Bucs suck or something. All this shows is that, yes, the Bucs were 7-9 last year.

  26. Bobby Says:

    @the _buc_realist….yes..the defense really did shrink against good teams. It was terrible. Josh on the other hand was awesome against teams like the Giants but sadly…the defense let us down.

    Taking every game as a 1 game season was trying to take pressure off of the QB?? You truly are a deep thinker aren’t you. What would be more pressure…playing a 1 game season or a 16 game season??? I know….”duh!”

  27. stevek Says:

    Playoffs or bust from Freeman this year.

    We need to be a “Top 6” team within the NFC by the season’s end.

    Freeman needs to show us playoffs, he has everything on his side: New and improved D, 2 pro bowl OG’s back from injury, 2nd year in a system, and most importantly (for Freeman) a contract year.

    We will see what kind of resiliencey #5 has this year. We all see the potential, we need substantial evidence before throwing out 10 million plus annually.

    If Freeman is to be paid 10% of our player resources (salary cap), then he will play up to “Franchise QB” level. The only thing missing from Josh is a consistent presence throughout the season.

    We need a QB that can keep this offense “Top 10” each Sunday, not “Top 5” against Oakland, and then 25th ranked output for the next quarter of the season.

    We need stability at the QB position, and Freeman has all the tools. Does he have the mental toughness to take his game to the next level? I think so, 2013 should be a helluva year for Buc Football.

  28. stevek Says:


    Freeman did squat in the Giants game for most of the 2nd half….

    Freeman does not consistently facilitate a productive offense. He either lights the world on fire, or forgets how to throw and audible.

    It can’t be all or nothing with this guy (Freeman). He will either step up, and earn the big bucks, or put him on the list for “Former Buccaneer Quarterbacks”.

    2013 is Freeman’s leash, play well and warrant an extension, or play inconsistently and let another franchise roll the dice with that.

    Something from Freeman must materialize. We have all been in aw, some moments, by watching Freeman play. We are either in complete happiness with his performance, or we have to turn off the game because Freeman looks lost out there.

    Maybe Shaun King is right, a sport’s psychologist can help Freeman unlock his potential into tangible, physical, consistent production.

  29. stevek Says:


    I will go out on a limb, and say we “sucked” last year.

    7-9 is unacceptable, after racing out to a 6-4 start.

    In order to “not suck”, we must not have a 5 game losing streak this year.

  30. the_buc_realist Says:

    this is why i refuse to reply to most. At least you come with a different point of view. Then there is bobby who says nothing at all, except 2nd grade insults. You cannot talk sense to the senseless.

    back to the point of the article. We really have to worry how we match up to the division. And with JFro-6pak really the only Qb in the nfc south that has his job on the line. For years he has been told that he is the “Franchise” and ” its all about 5″ . Now its play better and consistent or get lost. How will the ” Franchise” respond to the new message???

  31. stevek Says:


    Funny you “SMH” at the thought of our FA agent acquisitions a year to gel, but Freeman is excused, “but it is his 1st year in the system”.

    I hope our Free Agents/Trade/Draft acquisitions all play well from the get go.

    Our coaching is in place, the culture is set, I believe the Bucs are a playoff team in 2013.

  32. stevek Says:

    If Freeman can’t step up this year as a *Consistent* QB, then I am confident we can start over with a rookie.

    So many rookies are coming in and chipping in right away.

    It would be foolish to settle for anything less than “good enough”.

    Freeman needs to show this team is “good enough” for playoffs this year. He can do it, but we still need to see it.

  33. WestCoastBucsFan Says:

    “Jfro-6pak really shrinks and disappears when play solid teams or there are playoff ramifications.”

    Here is Freeman’s performance against all of the playoff teams we played:

    Week 4: WAS: 299 yards / 1 TDs / 1 INTs / Loss
    Week 8: @MIN: 262 yards / 3 TDs / 0 INTs / Win
    Week 12: ATL: 256 yards / 0 TDs / 0 INTs / Loss
    Week 13: @DEN: 242 yards / 2TDs / 1 INTs / Loss
    Week 17: @ATL : 222 yards / 1 TDs / 1 INTs / Win

    Average: 256 yards / 1.4 TDs / 0.6 INTs / 2-3

    Now lets compare these to say . . . Andy Dalton? Playoff QB extraordinaire:

    Week 1: @BAL: 221 yards / 0 TDs / 1 INTs / Loss
    Week 3: @WAS: 328 yards / 3 TDs / 1 INTs / Win
    Week 9: DEN: 299 yards / 1 TDs / 1 INTs / Loss
    Week 17: BAL: 78 yards / 1 TDs/ 0 INTs / Win

    Average: 231.5 / 1.25 TDs / .75 INTs / 2-2

    Now, this is just to show how similar these numbers are between a playoff and non-playoff QB. I would also like to point out that the Bengals only played three playoff bound teams in four games (BAL twice) to Freeman’s four(ATL twice) in five games. One more point to add is that Dalton played with the number eight ranked defense to Freemans 29th ranked defense.

    All this to say that I don’t think it is accurate to say he “disappears” when we play solid or playoff teams. If I had included “solid teams” then Freeman looks much better and Dalton looks worse. Dalton had two terrible games against Pittsburgh. Freeman was pretty good against the Panthers twice and New Orleans once.

  34. TrueBlue Says:

    Freeman will likely be inconsistent again this year, though not as inconsistent as last year. His good games will be better and his bad games not as bad. Experience in this system will matter.

    Add a major overhaul of the secondary, the return Clayborne, an upgrade at NT, an upgrade at LDE, better secondary coaching, and the defense will be much improved.

    Then there’s the return of two pro-bowl guards, quality depth on the O-line, and a more experienced Martin to take advantage of that line.

    Schianno has had a year to work out the bugs in his strategy and upgrade several coaching positions. The only thing holds this team back is injuries. But that’s a concern with any team. The future is bright indeed.

  35. WestCoastBucsFan Says:

    Funny you “SMH” at the thought of our FA agent acquisitions a year to gel, but Freeman is excused, “but it is his 1st year in the system”.

    The quarterback position is much more difficult to learn than literally every other position in football. The quarterback has to know and memorize what all ten players on the offense are supposed to be doing on every single play. Which side the runningback to blocking towards. Which route each of the WRs are running. Where the offensive line is shifting. All of this while being chased down by 300 pound monsters trying to break him. There is a reason only 32 or so men qualify to do such a thing every year. The QB has, by far, the hardest adjustments to a new system. Can you imagine knowing exactly what 10 different people’s jobs are on something like 40+ different plays? This isn’t an excuse to suck but don’t simply write off changing a system as something QBs should do with ease.

  36. Buc1987 Says:

    I’m an unbiased fan. Always have been, always will be. My prediction is this. The Tampa Buccaneers are going to win the NFC South this coming season. Mark it down. Let me add this as well. The players ARE buying in to Schiano.

  37. stevek Says:


    Ok, the QB position is tough to learn everyone elses jobs.

    I think LaVonte David’s rookie season is THAT MUCH MORE IMPRESSIVE, when you add the fact that the guy wore the headset all year, made play calls, lined up his D, and read and reacted to the opposing offense.

  38. WestCoastBucsFan Says:

    ^^^ I agree completely. What Lavonte did as a rookie was nothing short of spectacular. I get frustrated every time I hear that the pile jumper over in Carolina got DROY. Lavonte was an absolute savage from start to finish last year. It took Kuechly a few games to catch on.

  39. Buc Fan #238 Says:

    At this point, either Freeman can do it or we lose.

    Thanks Jfro for still be a huge question mark in year 5.

    Thanks Raheem for saddling us with the next Josh Campbell.

  40. loung Says:


  41. loung Says:


  42. bucfever40 Says:

    Let them think what they want about us, I actually like this ’cause we are going to surprise a lot of teams, and catch them on their heels if they think it’s an automatic win, there’s no doubt we in Tampa know what we got with this team, we know that our revamped defensive backfield is going to allow our defensive front a second or two more to create a bum rush of talented maneaters that will no doubt equate to many more sacks, which will then create more respect. I can’t wait to let these dogs loose!! The Bucs may be one of the top 3 most talented TEAMS in the NFC!

  43. Cassidy Says:

    Many games were so close last year that an improved kick return game may have made us a winning team. I don’t see Freeman getting any worse, and the team should be better. We’ll be alright…..

  44. BigMacAttack Says:

    I also say “who cares”, this means nothing. We will find out soon enough but I am very excited for this team to hit the field. I believe the Bucs can be as good as anybody. I think we have the right coaches in place and if Jonthan Banks is anywhere close to as advertised, look the F*#¥ out. Teams may finally fear the Bucs and after the departure of Gruden, I finally feel we have a chance to win every week against every opponent. Can win them all but they sure should win a bunch. Doug Martin is the X Factor. If you can run the ball, you can control the game and win consistently.

    I’m so so so freakin stoked. I just shat meself. Not

  45. BigMacAttack Says:

    Can’t win em all. Well maybe.

  46. BamBamBuc Says:

    Yeah, let’s all believe these “professionals” and their power rankings. ESPN last year, post draft power ranking had the Vikings and Colts as 31 and 32, yet both made the playoffs. Redskins were 25 and Seahawks 22. Greg Rosenthal of NFL.com had a power ranking in July last year as well. Not so much ranked 1-32, but in groups. Top group was the Packers, Steelers, Ravens, Patriots. Next level were the Giants, Chiefs, Saints, Eagles and Texans. Among his next group of “contenders” he had the Jets, Panthers, and Lions. Getting the idea about how “expert” these guys are?

    A lot of these things aren’t based on anything more than hype. Cam Newton was Superman as a rookie, but couldn’t carry the team last year and only mustered 4 wins, but the Cam hype was so high, some people not only predicted playoffs for them, but possible Super Bowl dark horse. Sure, the Lions had a decent year before, but Stafford is a huge question mark. A couple shoulder surgeries already. Anyone could throw to CJ, so that’s not saying much about Stafford. No run game, questionable defense…. not even close to contending.

    So, you can see, these experts aren’t really that expert. Fortunately for them, very few people actually go back and look at the results of their predictions at the end of the year, so they get off looking and acting like experts.

    It’s almost as funny believing these guys as it is listening to some fan spouting off about how this player is good or that player is bad without actually doing any research, or having enough information, barely watching games, etc. And I’m not saying I’m an exception, however I usually keep to simple analysis rather than saying this guy is good or bad.

  47. BigMacAttack Says:

    You have to earn respect. The Bucs haven’t done that in a while. It doesn’t matter what these clowns think of you. It’s about earning the respect of your NFL peers. I think the Bucs may finally be there. It’s time to take it! Get out there and kick some butts!

    We have Revis.

  48. Eric Says:

    Too optimistic.

  49. BucDan Says:

    Great post BamBam

  50. Drudog11 Says:

    BLUF: Bucs are going to be in more games this year than last. An upgraded secondary and SOLID play from Freeman will be the difference.

    Freeman has to have that Miami Heat mentality, meaning after a loss; due whatever it takes to not turn it into a losing streak. This team can do just that.

    I believe in the coaching staff also. A 10-6 record can be achieved!!!

  51. Kevin Says:

    This is awesome…I can’t wait for the season to start and everyone be like “Where did the Bucs come from this year”?