Toughest Ranking

June 8th, 2020

Where do the Buccaneers rank in the NFL?

Endless lists come out this time of year and Bucs fans are calling Tampa Bay a 10- or 11-win team in a poll today on the home page.

Hall of Fame voter and longtime Dallas writer Rick Gosselin has been covering the NFL for 48 years. He’s known for his diligence, and even Bill Belicheat has sought his opinion. And Gosselin’s annual special teams rankings are one of a kind. (The Bucs were dead last in 2019).

In his annual preseason team rankings at, Gosselin checked the Bucs in as No. 10 in the NFL.

He told SiriusXM NFL Radio that he put in a lot of extra time studying the Bucs and Bills because they were difficult calls. Eventually Gosselin went with Buffalo at No. 7.

Without Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski, Gosselin said, he would have ranked the Bucs somewhere between No. 20 and No. 24 in the NFL, essentially calling them a losing team without those upgrades.

Gosselin is unsure the Bucs can “cause enough havoc on defense.”

Joe wonders about that, too. They lost depth and there’s a lot of hope being invested in a young and thin secondary. There’s also a lot of hope the Bucs’ league-leading blitz total will take a step up in effectiveness in Devin White’s second year.

Joe thinks No. 10 is a fair ranking by Gosselin. It was seventh best among NFC teams, which puts the Bucs in the playoffs under the new NFL playoff rules.

13 Responses to “Toughest Ranking”

  1. PSL Bob Says:

    It’s ok to have lower expectations. Every time the bandwagon fills up, the Bucs tank. So, I’m good with 10th best in the NFL. Hope we’re better than that, but would certainly feel like we’re on an upward trajectory if we finish in that spot.

  2. Erik Hesson - Fine Artist - City of St Pete Says:

    We will be #1 by the end of this season. That’s all I care about.

    And it will be done in dramatic fashion at the season Finale at RayJay!! (SB)

  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    The only time rank means anything is when you are scheduled for draft picks… can rank before, during but it’s the after season ranking that matters.
    I’d like to have us be ranked 32nd.

  4. orlbucfan Says:

    Hey, what is all the rap about Colin K? At least he is younger than the fossil from NE.

  5. Waterboys Says:

    I agree that preseason rankings mean little in the NFL. That said, any top team without their starting QB would rank bottom 15. Imagine the Packers without Rodgers, Seahawks and no Wilson, Ravens and no Taylor, Chiefs and no Mahomes??? Bucs have some question marks that some top 5 teams dont have but they are in a group of the next 5 teams that given the right health, luck and player development can compete for a title game appearance!

  6. El Buco Realisto Says:

    Just another NFL Analyst that knew that last year was a bunch of BS with the “coaching was the problem”!!!!!!!!!!! Its a shame that the sheep are blinded by the new shiny Free-agents that they don’t remember how the parroted that coaching was holding the team back and not the roster!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Shame on the sheep!!!!!!!!

    go bucs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Bojim Says:

    I think 10th is more than fair. I heard about Colin also. Would be good backup I think

  8. Bradinator Says:

    Every single year I say to myself I’m going to temper my expectations. Every year I end up excited about things that turn out to not be that exciting after all. I’m trying again this year. It’s much harder than previous tears have been, but I’m really trying. Let’s see what practice shows us first regarding chemistry, who shows up ready to rumble, and who doesn’t show like they ought to (and some will). Be strong everyone! Brees and Co are getting closer every day. Beat them, and then I’ll see a little clearer.

  9. Knuckle Sandwich Delivery Service Says:

    No room for dramatics in our QB stable. We have an NFC South championship to win, a NFC title to win and a SB to win.

    As for that fossil statement, the guy is likely twice the athlete now that you ever were. And great idea- let’s bring in a guy who hasn’t played in what? 4 years? Then compare him to a six time ring holder based on age.

    Dumb comment dude. No need for for the distraction the guy brings and he’s really not that good.Have a drink and relax.

  10. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Special teams change as much as any unit let’s hope we put together a solid group.

    One thing that needs to be addressed is punting…Pinion did a good job kicking off but as our punter he was 32nd ranked. That doesn’t cut it.

    Meanwhile Bryan Anger…remember him…was 4th!

    And of course Gay has to proved he can become consistent. Lots of room for improvement on our ST’s.

  11. SOEbuc Says:

    Top five after week three and that’s only because COVID-19 situation. Brady and these receivers are gonna tear this sh!t up. Enter Gronk. There is no secondary that will be able to hold us down. Do not listen to the “Brady needs a RB that can catch” crap. Not to say I’m not excited see what Vaughn can do all around. And this defense is not feeling the “too much hype” Joe. These HOF quality leader’s on defense (LVD,JPP,Suh) are going to lay down the law and everyone else with follow. Top three if the beat Saints week one.

  12. Cainishere Says:

    I tell you what the Bucs real weakness will be. It will be a lack of full effort by inexperienced players not used to being around such structured teams and having too much expectations heaped upon their shoulders to win every contest.
    The effort will be lost when a struggling player begins to rely on the rest to get it done. If you look at the Bucs roster, not many seem to fit that profile but rest assured if they are there, Arians and Brady will identify the problems and work with those players. This is the leadership we have in Tampa now. They work on problems throughout the season. This with Brady’s ability and intelligence will teach the Bucs how to win. This must happen if the Bucs are to stand a chance in the NFC. Why did Winsnone get let go? It was no mistake. He simply cannot win games. GO BUCS!!!

  13. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    It is really hard to gauge how good or mediocre the Bucs will be this year based on several factors:

    1. Jameis lost a lot of games for the teams last year but had big passing numbers. How big of improvement will Brady have?
    2. Defense Backs are talented but young.
    3. How much will Covid-19 hinder the learning curve of rookies?
    4. How much will BA let Brady run the playbook?
    5. Brady will soon be 43. Gronk is injury prone.
    6. Will Rojo step up this year with a new RT in Wirfs?
    7. Starters on the Defensive line are above average but no backups.
    8. Which Matt Gay will show up this year.
    9. Will special teams improve? Will Calais be our badly needed kick returner?
    10. Will the safety position improve this year?