Friday, October 8, 2021

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Week 5 NFL Power Rankings

Throughout the 2021 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: 3.0 (2nd)
  • Best ranking: 2nd (
  • Worst ranking: 4th (ESPN)

Below you will find a Week 5 roundup for the Bucs in our consensus 2021 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 4

Biggest surprise: The large number of injuries

Why it's a surprise: After making it all the way to the Super Bowl and winning, the Buccaneers had a terrific training camp in terms of injuries. That luck has changed quickly, with all three starting cornerbacks potentially out now after Carlton Davis left their Week 4 win against the Patriots with a quad injury. In addition, Jason Pierre-Paul has missed multiple games with rib fractures, and Antoine Winfield Jr. has entered the concussion protocol. The once-strong defense has taken a big hit four weeks in. -- Jenna Laine -- Rank: 2

The Bucs landed more than an iconic quarterback with an unmatched résumé when they signed Tom Brady a year ago in March. Tampa Bay also received a generous supply of Brady Magic, that invisible pixie dust that pushed Nick Folk's go-ahead field goal attempt into the left upright to secure Tampa's 19-17 win over the Patriots. Brady didn't throw a touchdown in his much-ballyhooed return to Foxborough, while Mac Jones -- his true successor in New England -- completed 19 consecutive passes at one point. But Brady led the Bucs to the go-ahead field goal in the fourth quarter, then watched from the sideline as Bill Belichick's gamble on Folk came up snake eyes. Brady's had dozens of "special" wins in his career -- we imagine this one is up there.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 3

It wasn't easy in New England, but they found a way. They showed they can win games, even if Tom Brady isn't on top of his game.

USA Today -- Rank: 3

What else is left for Tom Brady to accomplish? Seven rings. Most passing yards ever. Most passing TDs ever. Most wins, including a satisfying one over Bill Belichick and New England. Oh, right, first Super Bowl repeat since his 2003-04 Patriots, and maybe first-ever three-peat after that? Stick around for a while, TB12.

The Athletic -- Rank: 3

So much time and energy were spent preparing for and talking about Tom Brady's return to Foxboro that it almost feels weird to turn the page to the next 13 games on the Bucs' schedule. Lost in the mix a bit is the step back so far for a Bucs defense that finished the season fifth in DVOA last year and ranks 19th through four games. Injuries have affected them in a big way, and they deserve patience, but it's something to monitor for a team with hopes of a championship repeat.

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