Saturday, December 12, 2020

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Week 14 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2020 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Here is where the Tampa Bay Buccaneers rank in terms of average, best and worst:

  • Average ranking: 9.6 (9th)
  • Best ranking: 8th (The Athletic)
  • Worst ranking: 11th (CBS Sports)

Below you will find a Week 14 roundup for the Bucs in our consensus 2020 NFL Power Rankings.

The Athletic -- Rank: 8

Best-case scenario: They figure things out offensively and bump up to the five seed. This season has been all about trying to figure out a way to mesh what Bruce Arians and Byron Leftwich want to do with what Tom Brady wants to do. The Buccaneers have the talent to figure it out and be one of the most dangerous teams in the NFC. If the season ended today, the Buccaneers would have the sixth seed and travel to Los Angeles to take on the Rams. If they can leap the Seahawks, they can get a matchup against the NFC East winner in the first round. Tampa's only remaining game against a projected playoff team is in Week 14 at home against Minnesota.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 11

They have to hope their bye, which came at a good time, helped wipe away some of the stink of their recent games. They need to get back on track on defense.

USA Today -- Rank: 10

They should be recharged coming out of a late bye week, ready to battle for the No. 5 seed, which will convey a playoff matchup with the NFC East champions.

ESPN -- Rank: 9

Person with most at stake: Offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich

The entire Buccaneers coaching staff fits here, but this especially holds true for Leftwich. With a six-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback in Tom Brady and one of the most talented groups of offensive weapons on paper, the pressure is on to take this 7-5 squad and not only make the playoffs (that's still not a given, and realistically, the Bucs probably need to win three of their last four), but turn it into a legitimate Super Bowl contender. -- Jenna Laine -- Rank: 10

The relationship between the quarterback and head coach will remain a storyline down the stretch. Bruce Arians hasn't made any excuses for Tom Brady when the offense has struggled, and Arians and offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich haven't always tailored the game plan to what made Brady a legend in New England. If there is a schism between Brady and Arians, it could lead to Arians' exit. After all, it's Brady who got the two-year, $50 million deal this spring, and the front office would likely side with the G.O.A.T. if a decision had to be made. But let's not get ahead ourselves: The Bucs can still make the playoffs, and they have a favorable remaining schedule. Brady has the weapons; Arians possesses the know-how. The pair has four games to get this thing turned around.

Previous update: Tampa Bay Buccaneers Week 13 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

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