Saturday, September 10, 2022

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Week 1 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2022 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Below you will find a Week 1 roundup for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in our consensus 2022 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 2

Who's on the hot seat: QB Kyle Trask

Quarterbacks coach Clyde Christensen set the expectation already this offseason that Trask was unlikely to challenge Blaine Gabbert for the backup role this year, but it hasn't even been close between the two in training camp. That's disappointing, given the high priority the Bucs have placed on wanting to see Trask this preseason, as Tom Brady is under contract for only one more season. Less than two weeks into camp, Trask had already reached double-digit interceptions, one of which was so poorly thrown that the Bucs' social media account deleted its Play of the Day video of Jamel Dean picking it off because of negative responses. Granted, that's not going to get him booted, but it doesn't inspire much confidence for the future. -- Rank: 4

Are we really still doubting Tom Brady? Yes, I'll admit his offseason was ... weird. The 40-day retirement, the mysterious 11-day training camp absence, the cryptic press conference after his return -- it wasn't exactly on brand for the G.O.A.T. But let's also remember that the last time we saw Brady on the field, he was still performing at an elite level -- absolutely worthy of the league MVP award that went to Aaron Rodgers. Brady has challenges: The offensive line has been weakened considerably, and he won't have Rob Gronkowski (pretend retirement), at least to start the year. Throw in a foreboding early schedule, and a slow start for the Bucs is absolutely possible. But Tom Brady will figure it out. He always does.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 7

The injuries on the offensive line are concerning. The interior could be a problem, which isn't good for immobile Tom Brady. But they are still a talented team with the GOAT.

The Athletic -- Rank: 4

The good news: Tom Brady is back and his arm looks as good as ever, to say nothing of his face.

The bad news: The thing about Brady, and not many people know this: The one way to really get him off his game is with pressure up the middle. He's unlike every other quarterback in that way. So, the Bucs' interior offensive line tumult could have Brady rethinking retirement.

Nugget to remember: The four active leaders in receiving yards are split between two teams. For now, No. 1 Julio Jones and No. 4 Mike Evans have the lead with 22,631 combined receiving yards over No. 2 DeAndre Hopkins and No. 3 A.J. Green's 20,859.

The Ringer -- Rank: 2

Going from a 40-day dose of despair to favorites to win the NFC (+340) is quite the roller coaster of an offseason. During the five and a half weeks Tom Brady was retired, the expectation in Tampa was that stars like Carlton Davis III and Chris Godwin would leave in free agency, and you could picture the Bucs choosing to start second-year quarterback Kyle Trask as some sort of long-game tanking strategy. Instead, Brady's abrupt return has him leading a star-studded roster that not only re-signed Davis and Godwin but also added guard Shaq Mason, slot receiver Russell Gage, and defensive tackle Akiem Hicks. Injuries to starting offensive linemen Ryan Jensen and Aaron Stinnie are concerns, but not enough to knock the Buccaneers off their Super Bowl course.

Yahoo! -- Rank: 4

The Buccaneers have dealt with offensive line injuries and Tom Brady's unusual training camp vacation. They don't know when Chris Godwin will be 100 percent this season. Rob Gronkowski has retired. Are the Buccaneers much more vulnerable than we expect?

PFT -- Rank: 2

It feels like Tom Brady's last ride. And it has always felt as if he's destined to walk away with a trophy under his arm.

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