Advertisement

Bucs finish top 15 in NFL.com’s final 2023 power rankings

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had a very successful season relative to expectations. They finished top eight in the league in 2023 after a playoff win against the Philadelphia Eagles, but NFL.com’s latest power rankings have them ranked a little lower.

Writer Eric Edholm wrote up his power rankings for the end of the 2023 season after the Kansas City Chiefs wrapped up the year with a Super Bowl win. He had the Bucs ranked at 13th overall, one rank above the Pittsburgh Steelers and one rank below the Los Angeles Rams.

Here’s what he had to say about Tampa Bay:

The Buccaneers overachieved in 2023, fueled by a bounce-back season from Baker Mayfield, an opportunistic defense and, let’s be honest, their presence in a less-than-tough division. I don’t mean to negate what they did — Tampa almost knocked off the Lions at Detroit in the Divisional Round. But the Bucs scraped just to get in the postseason. And now they have to restart a bit, with OC Dave Canales off to Carolina, and his replacement, Liam Coen, lying in wait until the Mayfield decision is figured out. Mayfield is set to be a free agent, and though it would be hard to imagine any other team wanting him more than Tampa Bay, the two sides must figure out the money part and leave enough left over for Mike Evans and others. The NFC South remains in flux, we suspect, but the Bucs once again could have to be a team that grinds its gears hard to find success.

A lot of this is based on hypotheticals, and there are some things it doesn’t quite take into account. For instance, Liam Coen runs a very similar offense to Dave Canales so there should be some continuity there — subsequently, while nothing is figured out yet, it would be a shock if Mayfield didn’t return to Tampa Bay at this point. Should those dominoes fall and the Bucs do well to retain their own weapons in free agency, there’s no reason to believe the team could get worst next year in 2024.

Story originally appeared on Buccaneers Wire