Peter King Firmly Defends Calling Bucs 31st-Best Team In The NFL

May 19th, 2023

NFL super insider Peter King

For those screaming “F Peter King,” the NBC Sports super insider has a response.

He joined his NBC colleague Mike Florio, of, and answered a fan question that challenged King ranking the Bucs No. 31 in his post-draft NFL power rankings.

The fan rattled off a bunch of Bucs big names and said teams King ranked ahead and around the Bucs don’t have the same level of talent. King fired back with stats Joe has shared here in a similar way; the Bucs allowed an average of more than 28 points per game in their final six contests last season.

“That defense better play better because the offense is going to struggle, I think, because I still don’t know what has been done for a team that might have had the worst running game in the NFL last year,” King said.

“… I think this team has a lot of holes and it would be one thing if the guys on that front-7 were coming off all great years, but I don’t think they are. … They certainly do have the resumes to throw out there on the field on opening day — to be better than they were at the end of last year. So they might be.”

King also was quick to say he’s highly skeptical of Baker Mayfield’s value. And while won’t say it plain and simple, it’s clear to Joe that King doesn’t think Todd Bowles is a good head coach.

If King thought otherwise of Bowles, he wouldn’t rank the Bucs where he has.

92 Responses to “Peter King Firmly Defends Calling Bucs 31st-Best Team In The NFL”

  1. Lee Jackson Says:

    It’s a valid perspective.

  2. rick bobby Says:

    King is the only one that speaking Truth. I love my Bucs. but they are not a good team. face it. Let’s support them but let’s not fool ourselves that this team is good.

  3. BBQBUC Says:

    He’s right about Mini Mayfield.

  4. Buc4evr Says:

    Everyone is skeptical about Mayfield.. But he has something to prove and this is the team that is giving him his last chance. No problem being the 31st rated team at the beginning of the season.

  5. Buc1987 Says:

    Right about where they should be.

  6. Da Bucs Gut Says:

    The New head coach search begins now

  7. HC Grover Says:

    With HC/DC Superbowles at the helm, the Bucs ship will hit the rocks and rip the bottom out of the NFC South. Blunder rather than Plunder will be the standing orders. He will run over his tow line again and again. Who stole his Ice Cream?

  8. Pelsbuc61 Says:

    I think King is politely indicating that Bowles has never had a winning season as HC so the Bucs will suck. Can’t argue with that until they win.

  9. Bucs Lives Matter Says:

    Not a PK fan but he isn’t wrong on his analysis.

  10. Rob Says:

    He’s right about Mayfield, Bowels, and the Bucs rushing attack.

  11. Pickgrin Says:

    Peter King and Mike Florio deserve each other….

    Can’t stand either of those idiots – and their opinions are about as meaningful and insightful as a pile of dog poop…..

  12. Austin Says:

    You guys are legit the worst fans on earth. Find a new team

  13. LUVMYBUCS Says:


  14. Steve Burke Says:

    HC Grover……I believe the thief was Fred Macmurray

  15. JN Says:

    I am a fan of both Florio and King and King’s weekly column has been and is the best column for NFL football junkies. It is a must read every Monday a.m. Having said that doesnt mean I agree with King on everything or the No. 31 ranking. I see the Bucs winning somewhere between 5 and 8 games. They are gonna be stuck in no-mans land… why they should have blown this sucker up this off-season and cleaned house and cleaned up their salary cap issue.

    Seriously, what will JL and Team Glazer do if the Bucs finish 5-12, 6-11 or 7-10? Like I said, we are stuck. Any one of those records and I hope they clean house starting with Bowles. IMO they just prolonged the inevitable one year.

  16. WillieG Says:

    I wonder what the national media types like PK would predict if BA was still the head coach? 10-7 would be my guess because BA can develop QBs.

  17. Craig Says:

    I hardly ever agree with Peter King, so this is the exception; he’s right.

    Lots of questions about the Bucs. I hope to be pleasantly surprised, but I doubt it.

    The Bowles cleaner makes too many mistakes during games and our new OC is really new, as in never having been an OC before.

    There will be missed opportunities, but maybe they will learn something and get better.

    Mayfly will probably start and dig a hole. The question is how long he stays starter and if Trask is ready.

  18. Buc1987 Says:

    Austin…what are you whining about?

  19. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    King is an idiot, but when has Mayfield EVER have the weapons he will have here; ME13 got Johnny Football a Heisman and helped Jaboo throw a zillion TDs, add in Godwin and a healthy Gage and IF the OL is decent and then our new OC is up for the job, the bucs should score some points with a capable OC.

  20. DingleBerry Says:

    And he’s spot on to anyone who isn’t wearing Pewter-tinted glasses.

    You don’t go 8-9 with Tom Brady and then get better with Kyler Traskfield regardless of how horrible of an OC Byron Leftwich is/was.

  21. DingleBerry Says:


    He literally had 2 1,000 yard receivers, 2 stud running backs and an elite O-line in Cleveland. The narrative that Mayfield never had any weapons around him is preposterous.

    I’d posit that the situation he’s walking into here is without a doubt worse because our O-line situation with Jensen coming off of a catastrophic knee injury and presumably rolling with Goedeke. Then there’s the fact that we had the worst rushing attack in the NFL last year and did nothing to improve it.

  22. Beej Says:

    “because I still don’t know what has been done for a team that might have had the worst running game in the NFL last year,” King said.”

    Well, other than essentially replacing 4 of the 5 starters, as well as the scheme and the OC

  23. zzbucs Says:

    Let´s do not skip ahead…..Don´t get trapped by this guys and his ¨business¨around NFL……

  24. Hodad Says:

    Actually Joe few on your site are saying F Peter King. More like 90% of Joe Buc fans are agreeing with Peter. Where King loses me is saying the Bucs didn’t do anything to improve their offense. We let holding penalty waiting to happen D. Smith walk. He was replaced by Wirfs. Anybody thing that’s a down grade? They signed a solid vet guard who’s 6’6″ 330 lbs. Jensen is back. They drafted Mauch, and moved Geodeke to his natural position. Both second round choices by the way. Biggest thing is they fired Leftwich, and hopefully replaced him with a rising star in Canales. They made it a point to get younger, and faster with this draft, and they did. Now none of this might matter, we might still suck. However to say we did nothing to get better is just B.S..

  25. Mark Says:

    The run game will be way better. The QB coach from the 18th best rushing attack in the league is now calling plays for us. And he’s got playcalling experience: two years at Carson High in California.

    We have a way better RB that we didn’t have last year: last year’s backup RB. The o-line is upgraded too. Our worst starter from last year is shifting to tackle. Our best starter from last year is giving up his spot to go to the other side. Perfect balance.

    Yes, a rookie is replacing an established veteran at guard, but the rookie has red hair and missing teeth! Huge upgrade.

  26. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    We may have the same record as last year, perhaps better. Defense will be slightly better because of the pass rush. If we do have a better offense, and I think we will, that will tell you how much of a drag on things Leftwich was.

  27. Duane Says:

    King sees this team like the rest of the outsiders. No Brady, and an offense and defense trending in the wrong direction to end the season. The club is cash strapped and banking on addition by subtraction. I cant fault King for reviewing Bowles’ track record and think he will actually turn it all around with less talent he had the season before. They couldnt score points all season long and they finish the season off by giving up a lot more. Gonna be harder for Todd to make excuses this season when most of the resources were invested in bringing his guys back and drafting for his side of the ball. His regime looks even better by having his favorite player asking to be traded. We all know and understand what we are getting into in 2023.

  28. HC Grover Says:

    So some think only the Bucs have improved from last year. Our opponents got much worse. This is nonsense and fantasy coping to me.

  29. Pryda…sec147 Says:

    Screw this guy he Said aints winning it all last year lol clown

  30. Marine Buc Says:

    It’s silly to try to rank the teams this time of year… I find it easier and more accurate to place teams in one of three categories – top tier, middle tier and bottom tier…

    The Bucs are currently a bottom tier team – meaning they are probably ranked between #23-32.

    There are several teams that could be worse than the Bucs this season.

    – Atlanta
    – Las Vegas
    – Chicago
    – Carolina
    – New Orleans
    – Arizona
    – Green Bay
    – Houston
    – New England
    – Pittsburgh
    – Tennessee
    – Denver
    – Cleveland
    – LA (Rams)
    – Tampa
    – Wash DC

    That is 16 teams (half the NFL) who could all be mediocre or worse in 2023. Far too early to tell who will finish where.

  31. BucfaninMi Says:

    Right on Marine! And Peters mama should’ve named him Richard, or Dick for short.

  32. DmanTX Says:

    I have been off the Peter King bandwagon since the first Bucs Super Bowl run. He is often wrong.

  33. Sly Pirate Says:


    You’re gonna room for your foot. 3x NFCS Champs.

  34. BBQBUC Says:

    “King was quick to say he’s highly skeptical of Baker Mayfield’s value”

    I agree. Why is Mayfield even here? We are not winning anything this year, and Mayfield is gone after the season – if he plays poorly he’s gone, and if he plays well he’ll chase money elsewhere. So why is he here? Why did we not just bring back Gabbert? He obviously was good enough to back up Brady on 3 Super Bowl runs. Mayfield accomplishes nothing except maybe win just enough games for Bowles to keep his job. I see Bowles’ fingerprints all over the Mayfield signing.

  35. Geno711 Says:

    Good analysis Marine Buc.

  36. Old School Nole Says:

    I can’t take any “expert” seriously that thinks Atlanta is the 22nd best team in the NFL.

  37. Sal Says:

    This is the same guy that said the New Orleans saints were going to win the super bowl last year #!!

  38. ModHairKen Says:

    He’s such a blow hard windbag. When has he been right about anything?

  39. Pewter Power Says:

    Good one marine buc and of all the rams you listed even with us giving up 28 points per game how many posted better defensive stats? There weren’t many teams not on that list that didn’t have a better defense

    I would even add Minnesota. If the offense could sustained drives this defense wouldn’t have been so gassed

  40. ModHairKen Says:

    Peter King is such a blow hard windbag. When has he been right about anything?

    And you know what? Bowles is the Head Coach. I wanted someone else but the Glazers didn’t ask me. So I’m done complaining and criticizing him before the season begins. It’s done. He’s it. It’s not going to change before game 17 of next year because that’s how the Glazers handle their business and it’s produced 2 Super Bowl wins in the last 20 years. Who else has? Dallas? Buffalo? SF? Miami? The Jets? Cleveland? Indy? Minnesota? Atlanta? No.

  41. APiratesLife Says:

    There’s nothing at qb, and plenty of holes and question marks scattered through the team. Until we see it all come together there is very good reason to doubt.

  42. Allbuccedup Says:

    These guys said in 2022 preseason the Bucs were going to be the biggest disappointment of 2022 which they were. Almost every nfl power rankings after the draft have the Bucs 28th or worse. So apparently Licht and the Glazers have blinders on.

  43. sasquatch Says:

    I’m about fed up with rating and ranking season. I think regurgitating other people’s opinions here on JBF is overdone. I don’t need to hear it. It’s all meaningless speculation designed to get people in an uproar. I put no more stock in this stuff now than I did when they were touting us as Superb Owl favorites. Basically zero. Blah blah blah…

  44. The Beer Whisperer Says:

    I think 31st is a bit extreme. I’m not a gambler, but I would take the over, here.

  45. Da Bucs Gut Says:

    I agree with The Beer Whisperer, they are 30th at best.

  46. Marine Buc Says:

    @ Geno

    I’ve got the Bucs winning @ 7 games this season…

    We will probably split with the NFC South (3-3).

    Then we have winnable games against –

    – Bears
    – Texans
    – Colts
    – Titans
    – Lions (maybe)

    What do you think?

  47. Salary Cap Hell Says:

    Aiming for number 1# pick in the draft 2024

  48. Bucs71 Says:

    Tom Brady is the GOAT! He was never a mobile QB, but in his younger years he could still by a little more time in the pocket. But at his age last year, if the O-line was not perfect, he could not do that. Maybe if Mayfield is a little more mobile and buy the receivers a little more time, they might have a little more success?

  49. Oz Len Says:

    King raved about Mayfield after Rams beat Raiders. He implied that coaching held him back.

  50. Geno711 Says:

    Marine Buc, I try to be positive on the Bucs.

    Harder for me this year.

    I am probably more worried about Jenson making it through the season than anyone on this site.

    Plus, a good to great QB covers up lots of deficiencies. Not sure we have a good one.

    I also think there is a transition to a new coordinator and that new system. I would not be surprised if our offense was just as bad as last year to start the year. Hopefully, if Canales is the goods, we start to see the fruits of his skill set in games 7 or later in the season.

    I am fully prepared that we could start 0-5. And then with Bowles lack of personality, could a pro team just give up on him?

    That is the pessimistic view.

    The optimistic view is that we get through those 1st four games at 2-2 and then we start to see the cohesion of our offensive line again (I think the two OL coaches we have are superior).

    We win 4 of next 5 after the Bye. Start 6 and 3. We go into the San Francisco week 11 and they flex that to the Sunday night game over the Vikings v. Broncos that is scheduled.

  51. Dooley Says:

    Good thing we don’t have a game this weekend lol

  52. SB~LV Says:

    Can he guarantee the #2 pick next draft?

  53. #99 the big fella Says:

    Peter King flip flops every week.. He never has liked the bucs. Show me one article that he has said anything good? can’t wait for the season to start so we don’t have to read the same story every week, with the same comments

  54. AlwaysBucs Says:

    King did pick the Aints to be a Super Bowl team in 22, ha hahahahahhahahhahahahahahahhahahahahhahahahhahhahahhahahah

    What does he know…

  55. EEK Says:

    Fair points from King

    A lot has to go right for the team to be viable — that could happen possibly

    Obviously the first key is decent QB play, then in no particular order:
    – 3rd down D
    – running game viability
    – O line consistency
    – TE play
    – D edge
    – kicking game

  56. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Well if this defense isn’t good the Bowles better be gone. Really that simple.

  57. Mike Says:

    Just nonsense from Peter King. All we have to do is have a better record than two teams in our division and we prove him wrong. That’s a pretty low bar.

  58. Will the Tampa Thrill Says:

    I personally think this could be the best team Tampa Bay has had in a long time!! I’m predicting at least 10 wins and the NFC South Crown again. We added tons of speed on both sides of the ball and appluad Jason and Todd with the additions made this year to go along with our vets. I love Brad Johnson but it wasn’t like he was the best ever quarterback although he did win us a super bowl and was the best fit for us and was the best in 2002 in doing so Let’s go Tampa Bay

  59. sasquatch Says:

    Positive thoughts are fine. Delusional thinking is an entirely different animal. See above.

  60. SomeDudeAtWork Says:

    We’re already on the clock for the 2024 draft at #1

  61. Fansince76 Says:

    Kind of a scary fascinating year for the Bucs.
    with Canales the offense success could go either way,
    same for Baker
    and also for Bowels as head coach.
    Pray all goes in the right direction!!

  62. Marine Buc Says:

    @ Geno

    “The optimistic view is that we get through those 1st four games at 2-2 and then we start to see the cohesion of our offensive line again”

    I agree. If the Bucs can get out to at least a 2-2 start with this schedule it would be a positive sign…

    Fingers crossed.

  63. Rod Munch Says:

    For the anti-tanking crowd, that thinks the Bucs going 7-10 is wayyy better than them going 4-13 and getting a franchise QB in the draft, well, this is great news. Peter King is never right about anything, so if he thinks the Bucs are that bad, they’re probably not that bad.

  64. SufferingSince76 Says:

    Tanking is for losers and it’s going to be a crowded field for the first pick, anyway.

  65. Tim Says:

    We don’t want want them to be good. Just respectable young players to get better and get a top 5 pick to get a franchise QB next year would be perfect.

  66. Jeff Says:

    King picked the Saints to go to the superbowl last year.

  67. Rand Says:

    How does that guy even have a job because it’s definitely not for critical thinking.

  68. Destinjohnny Says:

    If we don’t get free all agents and have to build through the draft …
    We get one players every 3rd draft
    Pull up a chair

  69. Bosch Says:

    I think most neutral observers would have the Bucs in the bottom six. Among that group, someone has got to be number 31. King’s assessment is lightly punitive at worst. For us Bucs fans, it truly is in our best interest to approach this season with low expectations.

  70. BA’s Red Pen Says:

    F Peter King

  71. For the People Says:

    Would love to see where Peter king rated the eagles last year before the season lol

  72. Joe Blow Says:

    F*ck Peter King.

  73. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Speculation. Speculating. Speculation.

    Worse thing about this time of year.

    Very few facts.

  74. JeffreyLane77 Says:

    It’s almost as if he doesn’t follow the team at all. This guy is as fake as it gets.

  75. mark2001 Says:

    I think it is a little harsh. But lower third? I wouldn’t doubt it. Last in our division? A possibility. I’ll give you a clue. Just see what happens in the Bears game. We lose that one, and look out below.

  76. mark2001 Says:

    Watch the Bears game, boys. Fortunately early, we will have a good measure of just how bad this team can be.

  77. BBQBUC Says:

    Rod Munch Says: “going 4-13 and getting a franchise QB in the draft”

    62% of first-round quarterbacks do not get resigned by their team. They’re busts. So, it’s delusional to assume tanking and getting a top draft pick will ensure a franchise quarterback. How did Jameis work out?

  78. FortMyersDave Says:

    Rod M has a good point. Bucs at 4-13 have a good chance at a top 3 pick and a franchise qb but if they beat a few of the bad teams others have mentioned (anyone in the NFC South, AFC South minus the Jags, the Bears, Pack, Lions with their gambling scandal, etc) they will likely be a 6 or 7 win team and pick in the 6 to 10 spot of the first round, missing out on the marquee qbs and other generational talent. Bucs have done this before under Perkins several times missing out on future HOFers and I also recall a bad Chucky team beatting the Browns late in 06 to miss on Megatron and Joe Thomas to get…….. Gaines Adams. More recently Jameis upset the Aints week 17 and the Bucs missed out on Quenton Nelson. Its a Bucs life. 7 dash 10, here we come.

  79. vitaslawnmower Says:

    Considering everybody had Seattle as a bottom feeder last year and our new OC coached them to their record with a guy who’s been tossed team to team, sound familiar? yeah we wont be bottom 2 but we have 6-8 wins in us imo

  80. DingleBerry Says:

    Lmao Vitaslawnmower, trying to give all the credit to Canales for the Seahawks success last year is cute but not even remotely accurate.

    Yes, he does deserve credit for coaching up Geno Smith, but he wasn’t the OC or the DC or the HC, he didn’t pick the rookies that had tremendous years for them either.

    Fact of the matter is that Canales has never been an OC or called plays at the professional or collegiate level. I like everything I’ve heard from him so far but him succeeding as our PC next year is a 50/50 proposition at best.

  81. Capt.Tim Says:

    Hes wrong about Mayfield.He’ll be decent to good, and better next year.
    Hes spot on about Bowles. This team cant win with him. Not an insult.He’s a good DC. Horrible head coach.
    Its ok- Id be a horrible head coach too. Its a small club.

    6-11 or 7-10

  82. Nick2 Says:

    King is a moron and might as well be tied at the hip with BSPN who ONLY gave us respect during thr Brady years. Now thst its over? Back to the darkness where Bucs teams languish with no coverage nationally. We will make the playoffs this year i cant wait to lay money on it!!!!!!

  83. adam from ny Says:

    going thru the first 4 games, we need to go 2-2…

    so i started going thru the rest of the schedule and thru 10 games if we are playing well we need to go 5-5…it’s not easy if you study the schedule…

    upon looking at the first 10 games i kept saying to my self…”if we can just win one of these 2 games”…

    every time i looked at 2 games as a pair, i concluded if we can win one of the 2 we’re doing decent…

    i don’t think we can be better than 5-5 thru 10 games…

    look at the first 10 and guess your wins…there will be 5 losses in that grouping of the first 10…

    but if we can get 5 wins and be in the playoff mix, the team has a slim shot at momentum, and believing in themselves, to maybe go on a run of some sort in the last 7…

    so anything is possible…

    king has never been in the bucs corner…ever

  84. Delusional Intelligence Says:

    Peter King is ranked 119th of 120 of NFL media personalities IMHO. Right behind Skip Bayless and just ahead of Shannon Sharpe.

  85. garro Says:

    Let me know when the Joes find aeputable source for an article will ya?
    Hey Ira maybe you could help these to out?

  86. Jeff’s grandpa Says:

    So what still F Peter puffin king

  87. BigMacAttack Says:

    It’s all speculation and it’s all meaningless. Work expands to fill time. They all feel the need to say something, I guess it’s their meaningless job, I’d prefer that they keep their mouths shut.

  88. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    I think we will be a middle of the pack team, and will not win the NFC South.

  89. Mark A Swygert Says:

    We all know that everyone has an opinion and what opinions are like. Peter King is just an unusually large one.

  90. PanthersSuck! Says:

    They are automatically better without last years OC.
    We had OC problems last year. Don’t forget that mister King.

  91. Brett Buell Says:

    I watched the clip and his “defense”. King stated at the start that at this time of year pundits can go with what everyone else thinks, or make some bold predictions that could be very likely wrong.
    Of the returning Super Bowl players, there are issues. Mike Evans is getting older, Godwin was injured last year, there is no running game, we don’t know who the QB will be. The O-line was bad, and we had no running game. On defense, Shaq Barrett had a huge injury, Vita Vea gets hurt and isn’t out there every play, LaVonte David is a year older, and Devon White may be a detriment. JTS hasn’t developed, and the secondary has holes.

    It’s possible Bucs make the playoffs. It is also possible under Bowles the Bucs continue to implode. It’s a gutsy call from King, but it has a possibility of being right or close to right.

  92. JD Still Says:

    Has anyone ever heard of a guy named Charles H Duell? Not surprising , in 1889 he was the Commissioner of the US Patent Office when he made the preposterous prognostication that the Patent Office should be closed because everything that could be invented had already been invented! A prediction that historically proved so ignorant and so laughable that he faded into obscurity and was never heard from again, you would think prognosticators from that time on would have been more cautious , I guess not.