Bucs Ranked Worst Of The Undefeated — By Far

September 19th, 2023

This one from the pay-per-read, we’re-bleeding-red-ink, high-profile site TheAthletic.com really got under Joe’s skin.

Joe is a subscriber and gets occasional emails from The Athletic with story recommendations. This afternoon an alert to their new NFL Power Rankings arrived and Joe grabbed another dozen Hooters buffalo shrimp and dove in.

Where were the undefeated Bucs? Joe scrolled and scrolled and scrolled and found Tampa Bay at No. 14 overall.

FIVE teams with a 1-1 record were ranked higher and no 2-0 team was ranked lower. Ironically, the Bucs’ dismantling of the Bears cost them three positions in the rankings.

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-0)
(Last week: 11)

The Bucs offense has been basically neutral this season. Tampa Bay is 13th in the league in offensive EPA per play at zero. Its 2-0 start is a function of a defense that has held the Vikings and the Bears to 17 points each. Doing just enough has been enough for the Bucs so far, but how long will that last?

Joe saw “offensive EPA” and wanted to puke. Get that noise outta here. (This may partly explain why TheAthletic.com hired a bunch NFL team beat writers but they eventually were layed off or quit.)

Joe doesn’t feel the Bucs were terribly dissed overall because these power rankings were somewhat wacky.

Detroit (1-1) is one notch ahead of the Bucs at No. 13 while the team that beat them in Detroit on Sunday, the Seahawks (1-1), is ranked No. 16.

Respect for the Bucs is growing but certainly not everywhere.

66 Responses to “Bucs Ranked Worst Of The Undefeated — By Far”

  1. Jimothy Says:

    Not really a surprise. The talking heads hate this team because Tom Brady isnt here. They have and will continue to look past all the other talent we have. If Mayfield continues to play out of his mind and avoid them sacks, the NFC is in trouble.

  2. Pewter Power Says:

    Nothing will shut these people up except beating the eagles or San Fran. No one would be impressed by a win over Buffalo

  3. T. McGee Says:

    What’s EPA?

  4. bucsfan951 Says:

    14th ranked seems about right. beat the eagles on monday, and it will be another story. until then, 14th ranked is about right.

    sorry but not sorry.

  5. Derobbins Says:

    Profootballtalk has the bucs at 14 behind the bears steelers and giants.

    The giants who were outscored 60-0 in 6 quarters.

  6. Derobbins Says:

    On the other hand like 4 out of our next 5 games are vs 2-0 teams. And the other game is vs Detroit. Who seems pretty good this year.

    I have a feeling the other foot will drop soon.

  7. Austin Says:

    Got a better defense, skill players, and QB than Atlanta, yet were last… OK lol

  8. Don’t tell me it’s raining Says:

    Joe shouldn’t find this behavior surprising, JBF is full of comments saying just as much and worse. Personally I love it. I’d rather fight from my back and wait for him to make a mistake. Then it’s just a matter of using leverage to apply pressure in the right location. And except for the TB12 years, The Bucs are the team everyone expects to lose. So we’re always fighting from our backs and I say, bring it on boys.

  9. 74 Bucs Fan Says:

    Keep saying we’re terrible. I like it. Then go crack some skulls Bucs.

  10. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Good….the last thing we need is to get cocky…..we need to win at least one of the next two games to prove ourselves.

  11. Durango 95 Says:

    Boots on the ground local media is all that matters with rare exception. Almost everyday the stuff that comes over the transom on a national level is (as the kids say) totally cringe.

  12. Taren28 Says:

    I’ll take 14th. NFL.com has us at 21 and the Saints at 10. Wtf! I would argue our wins are better. Vikings>Titans and Bears>Panthers. There shouldn’t be 11 spots between us.

  13. Mike S Says:

    I think they’re better than the Falcons. Sheesh.

  14. gotbbucs Says:

    That’s a pretty fair assessment right now.

    You have a very different idea of what the dismantling of a team looks like. Needing a a pick-6 with a couple minutes left in the game to escape with a 10 point win is hardly an impressive win.
    Trade our field goals/missed field goals for TD’s, now you can call it a dismantling.

  15. Steve in Mad Beach Says:

    NFL.com has the Bucs ranked 21st, the lowest of all of the 2-0 teams.

    Bring that chip on your shoulder Bucco’s vs the #3 ranked Eagles and let’s keep proving the haters wrong! Go Bucs!

  16. Nprbuc Says:

    Totally off topic Joe but releasing Molchon for a guard named Stenburg or something like that. What do you know about him that we should know?

  17. Beej Says:

    Bucs will have to prove they can play tier one teams to get any more respect

  18. Winny Testaverde Says:

    Fair enough…both teams they beat have yet to win ( partially because the Bucs beat them of course ).

    Like calling Dan-dee a lightweight…if the loafer fits…

    Stay under the radar, Bucs…keep playing fast & smart.

  19. optimisticbucsfan Says:

    We have a great barometer next week.

    We’ll see how good we really are next mon.

  20. 420kitty Says:

    Two NFC North rivals that convince no one, OK. But what if Bucs win on MNF? Biggest leap in power wankings comin’…

  21. Derek Says:

    Prickly Pete Prisco has them at #11

  22. Pelsbuc61 Says:

    Offense needs to come around especially the running game but I just don’t see that happening with the RBs we have. Bucs need to score at least 30 against Eagles to have a chance and I don’t see that happening either.

  23. DFWBUC Says:

    Power rankings are such horse…t. Some of the other rankings have the Bucs behind a couple 0-2 teams. It just says that the some people are so full of themselves and speaks to their “weekly” power ranking is about yearly evaluations.

  24. Jeff Says:

    The Bucs beat two TRASH teams! C’mon! When the season is over and the Bucs have 7 wins everyone here can send the Athletic an apology.

    Eagles 30 Bucs 10

  25. HC Grover Says:

    Come Monday. If they beat the Filthies that will change.

  26. SB~LV Says:

    Stupid stat
    Actually after 2 games it’s absurd to even begin to draw conclusions

  27. Miller5252 Says:

    Let’s hope ole Bowles and Mayfield are hanging these stories all over the locker room and emailing them out to everyone on the team. No one expects this team to do anything this year. King thought we would get the QB of our dreams this off season. The part that was crazy to me was everyone sleeping on the talent on this team. Position by position you can compare this team to a lot in the NFL and the Bucs have more talent. If it wasn’t Mayfield and someone with a better track record, they would be given a lot more respect. This week starts the next stretch of games that will show if the Bucs are a playoff team or if they need to tank and trade everyone for our future QB. I see em winning their division and pissing in Kings beer!

  28. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    Some ugly video I just saw from Brian Baldinger on the Bucs defense. If the defense looks like this on Monday night, Philthydelphia is going to run up the score.

  29. Duane in Sanford Says:

    They are flying under the radar, and lets hope that continues to be the trend. Too many games left to worry about what other people think about this team.

  30. ghost Says:

    middle of the pack is about right, if/when bucs beat philthy on Monday night, they should be around #7

  31. ghost Says:

    the dolts at nfl.com have 2 winless teams ahead of the bucs, and the aints in the top 10

  32. BigMacAttack Says:

    These rankings don’t mean much now. It’s too early to matter. Wins matter. Injuries and depth matter. The Bucs need to keep improving and keep winning. I think Phili is going to have their hands full with the Bucs. It’s better to be underestimated and overlooked. The Bucs are definitely gaining confidence and that’s important. We need to get the injured players healthy and not sustain any more injuries. Just win baby!!! Go Bucs!!!

  33. RGA Says:

    The season is early, the Bucs scratched out a win against the lowly winless Bears.
    While the Eagles are not looking like the Eagles of last year, they represent a bigger challenge. Both their offensive and defensive lines are superior to the Vikings and Bears. Good test against a 2-0 Eagles team that has not looked quite as good as they did last year but will be the Bucs biggest challenge thus far three games in.

  34. Hunter Says:

    Much higher than NFL.com lol. 14th is okay with me right now. Still have a lot to prove. But lower than 20th?! C’mon..

  35. Beej Says:

    We beat the Schmiegels I’ll be there happiest mfer you ever saw

  36. Tye Says:

    I get it with the 2 teams the Bucs played are both 0-2 this season and the Bucs didn’t breeze by them….

    NOW, on prime time, under the lights against the 2-0 Eagles, get a win and they make a statement Nation wide!

  37. HC Grover Says:

    Wait til next week.

  38. Defense Rules Says:

    BigMacAttack … Agreed; it’s Game 2 of a 17-game season. Who really gives a rats where the Bucs rank at this point? Especially by a pay-to-read outlet like The Athletic (I’m guessing Joe is the only JBFer who actually subscribes to that puppy).

    The only thing that’s important right now is the next game. Bring on the Eagles and let’s clip their wings.

  39. Ed McSherry Says:

    Peter King changed his mind; see his latest podcast.

    He’s impressed with Atlanta, but still gives the edge to the Buccaneers due to the defense. So, he thinks Atlanta is good this year, but the Buccaneers are even better.

    So, as it turns-out, it’s Peter King who has the integrity to change-opinion, based on actual games-played.

    The other “power rankings” are obvious sour grapes reactions to being wrong, previously.

    Also, it always seems to come down to: those who actually watch the games, and those who just watch the stats: with the latter, ya gonna get caught lookin’ stupid sooner or later; and ranking the Buccaneers less than at a respectable level…looks stupid.

    With the “low-rankers” out there, how about Baker’s no interceptions/turnover stats/sack-escapes? Rachaad’s first downs (hundred yards in combined pass/rush stats); Mike Evan’s YAC stats?

    “Funny” how the “stat-guys” are missing all the good-stats.

  40. StretchOMatic Says:

    Not quite as bad as the NFL dot com’s rating. We are 21st, just above the Vikings who are 0-2 and a team we defeated. They have the Aints in the top 10

  41. Rod Munch Says:

    Tampa Bay drive summary…

    1st Quarter
    Possession 1: FG
    Possession 2: Blocked FG

    2nd Quarter
    Possession 3: TD
    Possession 4: Punt
    Possession 5: FG

    3rd quarter
    Possession 6: TD

    Then, getting the ball back with 1:58 left in the 3rd quarter, Bowles shuts down the offense and literally just tries to run out the clock.

    Possession 7: Punt
    Possession 8: Punt
    Possession 9: Punt
    Possession 10: Game

    Arians would have put this game away, but Bowles was so worried about making mistakes and losing, that he let the Bears back into the game by going super conservative.

    In any case, the Bucs won, but I don’t think they can play that way vs good teams.

    But, if the Bucs beat the Eagles – and I expect them to – they’ll shoot up these charts.

    Enjoy it while it lasts.

  42. Mike Says:

    The Rodney Dangerfield of NFL teams… no respect I tell ya, no respect… I just flew in and boy are my arms tired (from sacking the QB)… 🙂

  43. PSL Bob Says:

    Rod, totally agree with your assessment. The offensive play in the 4th quarter was indeed offensive. Run, Run, Run and go nowhere. Play not to lose rather than put the game away. The defense and Shaq in particular saved the day!

  44. Pryda…sec147 Says:

    Eagles look very beatable and I can’t wait to put the hurt on Carr in NOla we going to be 4-0 heading into the bye if we play smart physical turnover free football

  45. M milligan Says:

    Bucs gunning down eagles Monday night
    Hide and watch
    Get on board or get the f out
    Don’t need neg bs on board
    Watch BM out plat jalen in every facet of game
    Go Bucs

  46. Don’t tell me it’s raining Says:

    Rod Munch says: …but I don’t think they can play that way vs good teams.
    But, if the Bucs beat the Eagles – and I expect them to…

    So Rod what’s it gonna be? First you said they would start out 2-1 and then go to 2-6 and finally end up 5-12. So are you changing that? What’s the latest prediction Munch?

  47. Ed McSherry Says:

    I “third” that truthism about Bowles.

    It’s the reason, even if there are no others (and unfortunately there are), why Bowles shouldn’t be a head coach; no argument about DC, but not HC, in a position to make game-losng decisions.

    Practically everyone probably knows this, but it can’t t be repeated enough until there’s a change in policy or coach.

    The last game of last season (2022):
    Buccaneers are ahead by 17.
    It wasn’t even halftime yet.
    Bowles takes Brady & Evans out-of-the-game.


    Result: the opposition caught-up, again, and the Buccaneers
    lost and ended the season with an 8-9 losing record instead of an easy win for a 9-8 winning-record;

    Mindnumbimg idiocy.

    “Again” is used, because: Bowles did this ridiculous “pull-back, soft-zone, beat-the-clock” bulls!t all season long. And not in the last half of the 4th Qtr., or something more reasonable; no no, Bowles’ will start “running-out-the-clock” before the game’s halftime.

    An opposing team can use sidelines-passing plays and use-up very little time, even if there are about 10 or 5 minutes left in a game. That’s bad enough, but “pulling-back” to beat the clock with a whopping whole quarter or more left in the game is literally begging to lose that game.

  48. Rod Munch Says:

    Don’t tell me it’s raining – That was my prediction all summer, Bucs beat the Bears and Eagles, get off to a hot start, are the talk of the NFL…

    Then, well. I’ll be happy to be wrong about the post Eagles prediction.

  49. adam from ny Says:

    you might ask how are the vibes?

    i’m feeling good about the eagles game…

    gut instincts

  50. Don’t tell me it’s raining Says:

    C’mon Munch. I mean I honestly can understand how you could get confused, considering how much crap flows out of you. But when you told me yesterday that you had predicted 3-0 start I decided to check.

    Rod Munch Says:
    August 22nd, 2023 at 5:44 pm
    When the team is 2-6, I wonder if people will still be talking about the scheme.

    Hard to go 3-0 and be 2-6 🤔

    Rod Munch Says:
    August 25th, 2023 at 4:54 pm
    Interesting, Sims thinks 6 wins after they start out 3-1, while I have them getting 5 wins after starting out 2-1. In any case, I’ve taken the under.
    I might be optimistic with a 5-12 record.

    Again, doesn’t jive with your new story. And Rod, it goes on and on and on and on…well you get it.

  51. Buckeyebuckchuck Says:

    This is a good team.

  52. Buckeyebuckchuck Says:

    Sry, last post got truncated. Good teams find a way to win regardless of the stats and expert opinions. These guys have a lot of talented players, and they have heart. Statistics are for losers

  53. garro Says:

    If we still had newspapers in the good ole US of A, I would not use these “rankings” to wipe with.

    I love my Bucs and because of that I am biased.

    However, I would be reluctant to “rank” any team at this point in the season simply because so much changes from one season to another. Also because two games means very little in reality.

    Remember the Bucs went worst to first.

    Go Bucs!

  54. Hodad Says:

    Only ranking that counts is the score at the end of the game.

  55. PewterStiffArm Says:

    Talk to Tampa Bay around 11:30pm. Tuesday morning, out!

  56. MelvinJunior Says:

    Idk about the rankings… Who cares just TWO-games in!? But their overall assessment seems quite accurate to what I’ve been seeing & I predicted they’d win the division, or at the very least, go to the playoffs!!!!

  57. BucU Says:

    Shock the world next Monday night boys! We have nothing to lose. Play loose. Play fast. Play hard.

  58. Jeff’s grandpa Says:

    Sorry fellas my grandson Jeff must’ve been drunk again last night he’s a real hateful loser

  59. 941Boltsfan Says:

    I wouldn’t say that the respect is coming. That ranking tells me The Athletic sees a team lucky they are 2-0.

  60. HC Grover Says:

    Beat the Filthies and they will get a higher ranking.

  61. Sly Pirate Says:

    Biggest Waste of Time = Power Rankings
    It’s glorified media bias with no actual value or substance. Play the games.

  62. Lord Cornelius Says:

    We should have scored like 30+ if not for red zone inefficiencies last week.

    That’s after scoring 20+ in 2.5 quarters since the offense didn’t even make a play until towards the end of the 2nd quarter vs Minnesota.

    Not sure if EPA factors any of that in

  63. Bojim Says:

    Surprise surprise.

  64. JimBobBuc Says:

    I see continuous improvement for both sides of the ball (with the exception of the overly conservative 4Q last game). The first half offense vs the Vikings was terrible but we improved in the second half. In the first half of the Bears game, the offense was better than the Vikings game. The first half against the Vikings, and the 4Q against the Bear, is killing our offensive stats and that’s why the stats are misleading the outsiders. Fine with me, let them be misled.

  65. Christopher Schiefen Says:

    Didn’t The Athletic essentially become the New York Times sports section?

  66. TampabayDJ Says:

    Don’t tell me it’s raining – Thank you ! Agree with you 💯 .Many fake bandwagon fans who didn’t even watch our Bucs, or listen with the blackout games , before Brady and Gronk showed up. Now they are keeping one foot in the boat just in case it goes good or bad . And that is a fact about a lot of fake Bucs fans on here . Either go root for another team or stop complaining . Go Bucs


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