CBS: Bucs Are Not A “Fraud” (But Are Close)

September 21st, 2023

How good are the Bucs?

The Bucs have turned the NFL analyst world upside down.

Two weeks into the season, so, so many who believed the Bucs were going to make a run for Caleb Williams (#CollapseForCaleb) are admitting they goofed up. The likes include Peter King, Connor Orr and Ross Tucker, among many.

The Bucs are 2-0 and history suggests they are likely to make the playoffs. Factor in they play in a garbage division, Bucs fans are back to being happy in September.

So over at CBS, Cody Benjamin decided to rank the nine undefeated teams from “legit” to “fraud.” The Bucs did not get a fraud label, but Benjamin’s ranking of the Bucs is close to it.

No. 7. Buccaneers

This is what happens when you set the bar extremely low. With Baker Mayfield replacing the retired Tom Brady, the Buccaneers were tabbed a potential laughingstock. Instead, Todd Bowles’ defense has returned to form, clamping down on both the Vikings and Bears, while Mayfield has controlled the ball while feeding a motivated Mike Evans. At the very least, they are Grade-A feisty.

Benjamin has the Bucs sandwiched between NFC South foes: the slimy Saints at No. 6 and the Dixie Chicks at No. 8.

Monday night will be tough. The Eagles are also undefeated and many believe they are a virtual lock to play in the NFC title game. But here is a bright side for Bucs fans: The Eagles lost the Super Bowl last year. Almost always the loser of the Super Bowl has a drop off.

Why couldn’t that Eagles dropoff begin Monday night?

Joe isn’t sure Jalen Hurts is as good of a passer as Kirk Cousins and Joe isn’t sure if Hurts is as good of a runner as Justin Fields. But make no mistake, Hurts is a damn good quarterback.

50 Responses to “CBS: Bucs Are Not A “Fraud” (But Are Close)”

  1. Dan Says:

    I think if Bowels keeps playing to win we have a chance. Might have to convert a few 4th downs to pull off the upset but that mentality has been here the first two weeks.

  2. Nicholas Carlson Says:

    I’ve always worried Bowles was just who his record says he is. But I’m hopeful this can continue for one big reason: this is a very similar team to the one Jameis had in 2019. And if Brady hadn’t been available that off-season and someone of Baker’s caliber had, we all would have clamored for him and would have hyped up the team all off season if he joined. Going from Jameis to Baker is a huge upgrade. It just so happens we had some incredible Brady years in between.

  3. zzbucs Says:

    Cody Benjamin is a Joker!!

  4. NYbucsfan Says:

    I hope the Bucs do keep winning, but I have no faith in Bowles. It is going to take more than beating two trash to change my mind about that. We may have played the two easiest games we will have all season.

  5. John Sinclear Says:

    Let’s take a look at this “garbage” division! Saints – 2 & 0
    Falcons – 2 & 0
    Bucs – 2 & 0
    That’s after two weeks of league play. Does that really look like garbage?

  6. stpetebucfan Says:

    Perhaps after the bye some of this crap will die down. Even if the Bucs are 2-2 it will depend on HOW they reached that record.

    Get embarrassed by either the Saints or the Eagles and the death bells will once again start ringing loudly.

    Play well in those games and the Bucs will finally get respect even if they can’t yet close the deal. They are a team full of great vets and raw meat rookies with a new QB, a new OL, and a new OC.

    Unlike some here who deal in hyperbole I do not believe many of us have “crowned” the Bucs anything. The vast majority of the season is AFTER the bye. A lot will happen during this long season.

    Here is an example of what I’m talking about. N.O. just lost their very talented starting safety. “Honey Badger” is of course their Winfield but Maye was/is probably better than our current safeties, no disrespect intended, just respect for Maye.

    I do not understand how this stuff happens. Maye so smashed out of his gourd he drives into the rear of his car and reeks of alcohol with vomit down the side of his car. Really? Perhaps I’m mistaken but I thought NFL teams worked very hard to keep their guys out of trouble including providing numbers for help if guys needed to get home safely.

    I mean how expensive is for a millionaire to call a cab…er age showing…an Uber.

  7. Craig Says:

    They are remarkable with a two week old OC and a maybe motivated QB.

    They are not perfect by a long ways, but I can see steps in that direction every week. If Canales and Baker keep turning the same new page every week the sky will be the limit, eventually.

    This week is the litmus test. They don’t need to win the game but giving the Eagles a scare that they might will turn even more heads.

    The first things needed are for the line to gel a bit more and the individuals of it to get energy from that.

    Second, Baker needs to sustain drives better. Third and long can not be bread and butter, third and short must be that. A large part of the problem there is the incessant run up the middle on first down, but that might have been smoke and mirrors for this coming week.

    Games within games this week.

  8. aleyz2020 Says:

    The grounds krewe may need to be on hand to dig Hurts out of the turf! Our D has been known to plant a few QB’s deep. It will definitely take the whole team effort to get the wins this year, as it should. There is no longer a Tommy working here to save the day and get the attention of the national pen & mic club. The NFC South has rarely gotten credit for having “legit” teams so once again maybe we can keep winning under the radar.

  9. Show Me the TDs Says:

    In my younger day I used to watch all of the BSPN talking shows and all the pre and post game analysis. As I matured I realized they are only spouting personal opinions. Everyone has them and the talking heads’ opinions were no better than mine or anyone’s.

  10. Show Me the TDs Says:

    My opinion…The Bucs are pretty good, play hard, and that swarming defense is fun to watch. They definitely need to shore up the rush attack. When/if the offense gels and we can avoid injuries, they will be unstoppable. We shall see, starting Monday night. If they play well and win or play well and lose a close one I will be very hopeful. It’s still early.

  11. sdm5821 Says:

    It will never happen, because NFL players like the exposure of talking with the media, particularly the national media. However, how great would be for the planets to align and the Bucs come out of the bye week at 4 – 0 and the players refuse interviews with the ‘Talking Heads’? Since the majority said, the Bucs aren’t for real, the players could cite, they don’t have time for media members that the Bucs don’t consider real either.

  12. Jack Clark Says:

    “Two weeks into the season, so, so many who believed the Bucs were going to make a run for Caleb Williams (#CollapseForCaleb) are admitting they goofed up.”

    We didn’t goof up because Todd Bowles and Baker Mayfield magically fixed their bad habits. Todd Bowles is now taking calculated risks, accepting accountability for calling sorry as plays, and Baker Mayfield stopped turning the ball over. If they were doing that from the beginning then no one would have thought we were going to have the worst record at the end of the season. Todd Bowles and Baker Mayfield are like two completely different people than they were in previous years and I’m very happy for them.

  13. Infomeplease Says:

    The Bucs are starting to win over the national media. The only way this can continue is with more wins. If the Bucs regress the bashing will restart. The Bucs have been moving up in the NFL power rankings too. Started in the low 20s and now around 15.

  14. GMC hater Says:

    I swear they want to jinx this team with how often they’re mentioning playoffs.

  15. Pryda…sec147 Says:

    He good but not elite we can win this game ! Better coaching ! Mahomes is only elite qb left

  16. Buc4evr Says:

    Think if the OLine can stop Carter and Cox, the passing game can succeed. The Right side of the line better be ready.

    Bucs need trick plays inside the red zone. I don’t expect much from the running game against Philly so Bucs will need to run a lot of misdirection plays.

    As far as defense, stop the run , brings spy’s and harass Hurts with multiple blitz packages. Defense has to out Muscle the Eagles at the LOS, big task. Bucs can win, but it will be a lot more difficult than the last two weeks.

  17. Cobraboy Says:

    The O is not as bad as many predicted, and the D is a very fun bunch to watch, and Carmada and McLoughlin are stellar,

    Good entertainment, Bucs, keep it up.

    Play hard and fast, play within yourselves, crank up the juice Monday night, and let the best team prevail.

    Barring a serious injury streak, these guys are more interesting to watch than I expected. Obviously, I also had low expectations.

    And I’m learning about how Baker Stiff-Arm plays.

  18. WyomingJoe Says:

    The only joke bigger than Cody Benjamin is @Dan from this site. The Bucs were 8-9 last year. So why is it impossible to believe that a reinvigorated Bucs team can’t win 2-3 more games? Of course, it isn’t! This team has been showing up for the last two weeks with everybody picking each other up. AND, it looks like the “vaunted” Eagles defense can’t stop the pass. The Bucs are going to surprise everyone Monday night, especially EL STINKO Dan.

  19. Dwayne Cone Says:

    If it helps to reassure or make it seem more possible most of the seasons included in that percentage were when only six teams made the payoffs in each Conference.

  20. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    We will have to play our best with limited penalties… turnovers…..good ST…..and a great defense…..the game is winnable.

  21. DBS Says:

    You should have figured out who Dan is by now. He has disowned the Bucs. Did not get his way and is now attacking Bowles. Started showing up on Mayfield first. Now everything else.Trask was not given the starters job and Mayfield is winning. Hello Son of Trask!

  22. Dwayne Cone Says:

    It’s the NFL can any team win 2-3 more games? Sure. Bucs were a stones throw from being 5 and 12 or 10 and 7 in 2023. Some of those wins and losses I had seen before. Down one score with the ball and there was hardly a doubt that the Bucs were winning in 2023. Cleveland loss is still pretty vivid.

    I guess if anybody is changing their predictions on the Bucs it has to be due to the play of the Quarterback. Most anyone could be off is one win at this point because no one but the Bears would have had the Bears beating the Bucs.

    Some of the games last year I could not believe my eyes and like always until I see it…

    Hope that when the Eagles come to town what the drop off is not an L.

  23. D-dub bucs fan srq Says:

    Wyoming Joe I totally 100% agree with you El stinko Dan knows nothing

  24. Voice of Truth Says:

    What we are about to see is a completely different level of O and D line talent

    We won’t be bullying garbage defensive fronts this week

    But I like our WR against anyone in the NFL

    If we can scheme the ball to them and keep Baker upright we have a shot

    On D we can’t let them bully run the ball on us – Swift and that OLine are the real deal – I think our secondary matches up well with their WR group

    To me it’s all about The trenches Monday night

  25. orlbucfan Says:

    Thanks @Cobraboy for the ST shoutout. Ours is healthy, too. One of my favorite plays is QB bootleg options near the goal line. Mayfield is capable of doing them. The Defense will be fired up, so we shall see. I don’t trust the zebras though even in Tampa. Too many times, they have royally screwed the Bucs. I mean to the point of ruining players’ careers.

  26. Duane Says:

    Joe wrote:

    “Factor in they play in a garbage division, Bucs fans are back to being happy in September”

    Uhhh, don’t look now but the Bucs are only tied for first place in the NFC South with two other teams who are also 2-0. The NFC South is just as much a surprice in its strength so far as are the Bucs.

    In the Not For Long league, teams that are bad one year frequently are good in the following year, and vice versa. Same with divisions. The AFC West was considered the king of all divisions in the NFL a year ago, and now are considered pretty weak. The NFC East was considered pretty weak a couple of seasons ago, for many years actually, but now is considered one of the strongest divisions in the league.

    Right now, the NFC South still has a lot to prove, but with three undefeated teams after two weeks of games, they are in it as “most improved division” of the league. By no means can the Bucs consider winning the NFC South a walk in the park, no matter how much fan hate there is right now for our rivals.

  27. Bojim Says:

    We take the division.

  28. Pewter Power Says:

    Hurts is better than cousins. Still won despite all the yards he put up so if we’re not getting turnovers yes we know how bad this could be looking at our history in prime time games

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

    The experts say the Vikings are bad now. But 2 weeks ago they had the Vikings (#15) and The Bucs (#30). We were supposed to be trampled by the Vikings. That didn’t happen. The Vikings lost to the Eagles (#2) but their defense sacked Hurts four times and Bake only once. Their offense scored 28 against the Eagles but only 17 on us. Cousins is currently #1 with 706 passing yards and 6TD/1INT. Vikings have two of the top 10 WR, including Jefferson with most receiving yards in the league (309).

    Talking heads say the Vikings are bad now because they lost to The Bucs and the haters on JBF run with it. But it’s hard to believe that real Bucs fans are buying into it.

    Lose to Bucs = You’re a bad team. That’s what they’re selling you.

  30. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I suspect the Baker bubble will burst Monday.

    The Bucs are not a prime time team.

  31. Herbiebuc Says:

    One team I’m not afraid of when it comes to the Bucs are the eagles 🤷🏾‍♂️ our defense match up real good with the eagles running attack offense. We force jalen hurts to sit from the pocket I think our Defense can pull it off! Shake & Bake cannot turn the ball over and we gotta put up 21-24 points let the D win the game 3-0 #shocktheworld

  32. SlyPirate Says:


    Expert analysts have been brainwashed into only seeing the QB. They’ve gotten lazy and don’t analyze the rest of the players. This “expert” now sees defense but misses ST, field position, and a building OL. Lame take as usual.

  33. DungyDance Says:

    Dan … “Todd is to fat to coach…”

    First of all, it’s “too,” not “to.” Moron.

    Secondly, have you taken a look at Andy Reid lately? No problems winning there. Moron.

  34. BakerTillIDie Says:

    Well. Personally, I think the Bucs will be 4-0 at the break. The whole team has been balling. And, Not for nothing, has anyone looked at bakers pff grade so far this season among qbs? He is #3, almost 2. Go BUCS!

  35. SufferingSince76 Says:

    The only thing for the Bucs to do is keep proving the naysayers wrong. They continue to be disrespected, regardless of the start, by most of the sports media. Keep the chip, Bucs!

  36. Glass Half Full Guy Says:

    I smell an upset this week. It’s a game of matchups and game plans. It’s still early in the season and teams are still finding their footing on offense but consider this:

    NE nearly beat the Eagles in week 1. With Cry-baby Mac Jones and no-name receivers. Turnovers killed them. NE has a stout defense but I think ours is equal to or even a little better. Bowles & Co. had a great plan for handling Fields last week and Minn the week before (at least the 2nd half)

    Our offensive skill players (aside from running back….so far) QB and WRs are better than NE by a long shot, so that bodes well for us.

    The Eagles gave up 3 sacks to NE and 4 to Minn (the Bucs have only given up 1 sack and recorded 8 sacks in the 1st 2 games).

    If we play disciplined ball (few penalties and turnovers) I like our chances. Eagles RBs are banged up or will miss the game as well. There’s a lot to like about this matchup.

    Imagine what the talking heads will say Tuesday morning. Lol

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

    Buccaneer Bonzai Says: I suspect the Baker bubble will burst Monday.

    I don’t expect The Bucs or any other team to go undefeated this year. So like I told one of your Haterade drinking buddies yesterday, keep saying you think The Bucs will lose and eventually you’ll be right. It’ll happen Bonzai, don’t give up.

  38. BA’s Red Pen Says:

    It’s a tough match up for the Bucs but I don’t think a loss to philly would be the end of the season. The Aint’s are not impressive at all. At worst Bucs are 3-1 going into the bye.

  39. Larrd Says:

    The Eagles will pose a tremendous challenge for the young offensive line.

  40. No Mercy Says:

    We would absolutely shock to world if we beat the 2-0 eagles on MNF. We should expect the eagles to come out firing and pass heavy. AJ Brown is 100% going to be a focal point Monday night with his slow start to the season and his sideline shenanigans with Jalen Hurts last week. This is a very similar game to the Vikings one except this one we’re home, and Hurts has legs. Our offense needs to be fully prepared for this eagles defense and protect the football at all costs

  41. Dave Pear Says:

    Dan – you remind me of this old neighbor of mine. He’d get drunk and then go outside in his back yard and rant about random stuff. To his defense, he’d suffered a severe head injury in a car accident some years earlier. Even at his most inebriate, he was more coherent than you. I think you might be confusing Bowles with Shaun King. It would be hilarious to watch Todd give you the arse whupping you deserve. And ooh, tough guy offering up bet proposals on an anonymous message board! That’s rich. You should smack yourself in your head with a brick, as hard as you can. Who knows, it might be just the thing you need.

  42. Ed Says:

    Not that the past matters but people forget that the Bucs closed down the Vet in the NFC championship game with HOF’er Ronde taking it to the house. The following year in the new Eagle stadium I believe the Bucs won that one too.

    A few years ago the Eagles with Hurts as quarterback were dominated by a Bucs defense that kept him on the run.

    The Eagles are a formidable team but a team like the Bucs has a capable defense to create a high degree of difficulty for the Philly offense.

    Buc offense will have its hands full but Minn and NE did put up some points.

    My only problem is that the Bucs have been awful in the last couple of MNF games. Can they overcome their nerves and play a complete game?

  43. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Don’t tell me it’s raining Says
    “Buccaneer Bonzai …

    I don’t expect The Bucs or any other team to go undefeated this year. So like I told one of your Haterade drinking buddies yesterday, keep saying you think The Bucs will lose and eventually you’ll be right. It’ll happen Bonzai, don’t give up.”

    So, I don’t actually hate Baker Mayfield. I just do not believe he can suddenly rise above his limited success since his career started.

    My concern is this: he will win just enough games to get a contract that is not team friendly…and then immediately become the same old Baker Mayfield.

    As I’ve said, he can win me over…and I will admit these two games have been fun to watch…but…they have been against really bad teams. Until I see him have success against a really good team, I will not believe he can excel for us…and event if he does throughout this year…next year he would have to do it again in order to win me over.

    Yes…two good years from him.

    I do not believe that is asking too much in order to prove that he has set the past behind him.

    For what it is worth, I would hold Trask to a different standard because of his lack of experience. I would grant him a little more time to develop on the field…because he has NOT had years of losing in his career.

    However, if he was not showing the ability to learn from mistakes after, say, 6 games? I would probably give up on him. Maybe.

    As I would with any bad QB.

    Mayfield vs Trask is an interesting comparison…different styles of play. Fans have been wanting a mobile QB around here for years. Maybe the NFL has evolved enough that Mayfield can excel. Maybe not. But I do believe pocket passers have had more success in the past.

    Mobile ones are getting their turn, but that doesn’t mean pocket passers cannot do well. After all, we just won a superbowl with one.

  44. unbelievable Says:

    He is a damn good QB.

    And he has lots of weapons.

    And even more importantly – a beastly, outstanding offensive line.

    Oh and their defense is ferocious.

    This will be a very good, but tough task for our Bucs.

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

    Buccaneer Bonzai Says: So, I don’t actually hate Baker Mayfield. I just do not believe he can suddenly rise above his limited success since his career started.

    First, I’m glad to hear you say you don’t hate Bake. It seems odd whenever people hate someone they don’t know and most likely haven’t even met. But you’ve made it clear that you think he sucks. I think your words to me were “he outright sucks”. And that you think Trask should have been made QB1 as well. So I get it, your guy didn’t get picked and Bake got picked over him. And then after you said it’s possible Bake would have one good game then everything would fall apart, now here we are at 2-0 and Bake is playing well with The Bucs. And that’s not just me saying it, even the talking heads who were bashing him preseason are talking about how well he’s playing. I know you’ve seen some of the articles because Joe has highlighted some of them on JBF. So when you add all of that up, I get why you’re still unhappy with Bake. But like I told D Cone/Dewayne Cone, you gotta let that “unhappiness” (ie hate) go before it eats you up. The Bucs are winning and Shake n Bake is playing well. So try to be happy and just enjoy the good start to our season. Of course when I told D Cone that, he said he sleeps like a baby. I guess that means he wakes up in the middle of night crying with a wet diaper, but that’s neither here nor there. Anyway try to enjoy our success and be happy for your Bucs.

  46. Dave Pear Says:

    Many idiots . Few cerebrals. Glad one of the cerebrals is QB of the Bucs

  47. Brandon Says:

    Dan is a good example of extremely low IQ people being told they’re just as good as normal people.

    Sorry, bro. You’re not. And your intellectual disabilities are apparent in every word you write and every idiotic point you try to make. Your parents must have been proud of you when finally recently learned how to make it to the potty on your own… assuming you are able to do that. I’m not sure I believe it. They used to feed bottom feeders like you to the lions in Ancient Rome. It gave simple folk like you feel like you served a useful purpose in life. Guess that will never happen now.

  48. adam from ny Says:

    these analyst are gonna be twiddling their thumbs monday evening because if we don’t somehow get cold blown out, we will be in this game as a tight one down to the end – where the bucs can legit come out on top…

    and then…if we win…

    yup, we kinda become the darlings of the nfl……
    for at least a moment

  49. garro Says:

    How bout a fan poll of the Rankers Joe?

    Go Bucs!

  50. BillyBucco Says:

    Everyone spouting this team has to play perfect to beat the Eagles are still scared. The Bucs aren’t scared.
    Does it have their attention, yes and rightfully so, but if you have watched either of their games, you weren’t that impressed.
    After back to back turnovers by the Patriots , almost in the redzone, the Eagles jumped out to a 16-0 lead. By halftime it was 16-14. After the 1st blown quarter, NE beat them 20-9.
    4 should have been 5 turnovers by Minnesota and they lost by 6.
    What about either of those games, has everyone shouting beat team on earth.
    We watch the NFL because you never know.
    If the Bucs get turnovers early and then play like these first 2 teams did, they very well could blow them out. If the Bucs turn the ball over and Baker has no time, the Bucs could get blown out.
    It could also be a very close game.
    Saying the Bucs have to play perfect to win is nonsense.
    Every team has to play good to win in this league.