Thursday, December 30, 2021

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Week 17 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

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: 4 (4th)
  • Best ranking: 3 (USA Today)
  • Worst ranking: 5 (CBS Sports)

Below you will find a Week 17 roundup for the Bucs in our consensus 2021 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 4

Non-QB MVP: WR Chris Godwin

Godwin is on injured reserve now, but he was two catches shy of 100 receptions, and he still managed to gain 1,103 receiving yards in 14 games when he did play. He was quarterback Tom Brady's most reliable target, with a 77.2% catch percentage. Furthermore, Godwin showed just how versatile he was as a downfield blocker. "He's such a huge contributor on the field, but off the field too in his leadership, clutch plays," Brady said. "There's no way to replace him." -- Jenna Laine -- Rank: 4

A T-shirt-and-hat game is a nice way to lift the spirits of an ailing squad, as the Bucs trounced the Panthers to clinch their first NFC South title since 2007. It was an optimal outcome for a team missing Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Leonard Fournette, Lavonte David, Jason Pierre-Paul and Antoine Winfield Jr. due to injuries and COVID-19 designations. Tom Brady got by with help from Antonio Brown, who returned after missing nine weeks and paced all receivers with 10 catches for 101 yards on a whopping 15 targets. Brown is a difficult guy to root for, but the Bucs appear willing to live with his off-the-field transgressions if he remains an impact playmaker -- especially in their shorthanded state.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 5

With his top two weapons out, Tom Brady turned to Antonio Brown to pick up the slack and he responded. They are playing for seeding now.

USA Today -- Rank: 3

In less than two seasons in Tampa Bay, Tom Brady has led the Bucs to consecutive 11-win seasons for the first time in franchise history and is only four TD passes from second place on the club's career list. For an encore, maybe he'll also become their first two-time Super Bowl-winning QB.

The Athletic -- Rank: 4

Is he The Guy? Yes. It's not too late for Tom Brady to make an MVP push, and even at age 44, he's showing no signs of regression. Brady is on pace to set a career high in average yards per game and likely will finish the season with his second-highest touchdown total of his long career. He has 37, three shy of the 40 he threw last year. His career best is 50, from his historic 2007 season.

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