Pewter Power Rankings is a weekly feature compiled by PewterReport.com’s Fantasy Football Analyst Andrew Scavelli every Tuesday during the regular season. Each week Scavelli will rank the league’s teams from best to worst based on their performance and outlook going forward at that point of the season, with a focus on the Buccaneers.

CURRENT BUCCANEERS RANKING: 16 (-8)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Last week I stated that more questions would be answered about Tampa Bay’s defense after their matchup against a struggling Chicago offensive attack and after giving them the benefit of the doubt through the first three games, it’s safe to say that we now know their real identity and it’s not good. In fact, this unit is currently on pace for historical ineptitude. Through the first quarter of the season this Buccaneers defense has given up the most points per game in the NFL with an average of 34.8, allows an average of 445.8 yards per game and the most yards per play (7.0), and has allowed opposing quarterbacks to complete 77.1 percent of their passes for 1,432 yards with 13 touchdowns and only one interception. To put that in perspective, last season’s Bucs defense that finished last in the league allowed an average of 23.9 points and 378 yards per game. If this side of the ball does not improve upon its current production or lack thereof, it will finish the season as the worst statistical defense in NFL history.

The good news for Tampa Bay is that they are not lacking in talent on defense and have a front seven that most teams around the league would be pleased to field, so this issue looks to stem from poor coaching and scheme. The bye week could not have come at a better time either for this team as they now have two weeks to attempt to correct these problems and did so after a bye week before in Mike Smith’s first season as defensive coordinator. It remains to be seen if this Bucs team can make those similar adjustments for a second time in three years but their postseason chances going forward are riding on it.

If I was ranking the Bucs solely based upon their defensive statistics they would be 31st on this list but one side of the ball does not paint the entire picture of a team, as the Chiefs would be at the very bottom for their defensive effort and they currently sit second from the top with a perfect 4-0 record. Tampa Bay’s offense faced the toughest defense they’ll play this year in Chicago and was doomed from the start, but I still believe they can carry the team to a few more wins on their own. Ryan Fitzpatrick certainly had a lot to do with that in the first two games and now that the curtain has closed on the Fitzmagic show, Jameis Winston must also replicate that similar success he had when running this system in the preseason. As long as the offense can hold up and produce like it did outside of last Sunday, even without any help from their defense, this team should be able to remain in the middle of the pack and that’s exactly where they fell to at 16 this week.

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171-3-5
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Andrew Scavelli is the Digital Content Director and Fantasy Football Analyst for PewterReport.com. Scavelli, a graduate of Florida Gulf Coast University, first started as an intern with Pewter Report in 2009 and has been following the game of football for most of his life. When he’s not adjusting his fantasy lineups, Scavelli can be found enjoying nature and pursuing his passion for health and wellness. Scavelli can be reached at: [email protected]

11 COMMENTS

  1. Fair.

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  2. Not only the defense but the offense has many holes as well. Starting with coaching, who would ever think K. Mack could be blocked by the Tackle alone? No TEs staying end to help. Why? We have enough talent at WR that with a few more seconds someone would have been open and Fitz could have continued on his blistering pace. No run game. Putting the Rookie HB Jones as an outlet for passing instead of the reliable Jacquez R.

    So now the starting nod goes back to Winston who throws 2 picks in a half and we are back to the team we had last season.

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    • So we are going to extrapolate from the two picks thrown in a game with unrelenting pressure by Jameis as “we are back to the team we had last year”??? So you are implying that we should have kept Fitz as the starter because his 14 years of history means nothing???

      This is just dumb! I agree with everything up until that point but the credibility gets lost right there.
      If Jameis gets the time that Fitz did in the first two games and the last half of the Steelers game and he has the skills to make plays too. Don’t be naive. Jameis’ preseason was the best of all QB’s on the roster and I think maybe the best of the majority of QB’s in the league. Give it a chance…Damn!

      Now the defense…it’s a sh!t show! Mike Smith should already have been removed. I think we can slavage something on defense but I don’t think Smith can do that.

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  3. Your comments made sense until the Winston thing. Fitz has more than 2 in a half against Steelers. Blame Winston for two picks when hasn’t played in weeks and throw him into that mess? Down almost 40 and no protection. What do you expect? Give the guy a real game and bye to prepare before start criticizing him or you seem unreasonable imo.

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  4. The Bucs can be 16th for now. I am willing to give Winston the benefit of the doubt. But if he becomes a turnover machine against Atlanta after three weeks with the team and a half against the Bears, this ranking should fall further because they won’t be pulling Winston again. This team is riding his arm for the season with no running attack to speak of and little defense as well. It is going to take near perfect execution on offense like this team had the first two weeks to win any more this year unless the running attack or defense changes drastically in its capability.

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    • Sounds like last year huh??? Or the year before????
      So if Winston is pressing with no D and no running game what results do you expect??? Any QB would struggle with those circumstances! The Team has not helped their franchise QB. Winston is more than capable but he needs some help and I have to admit, I am losing faith in Licht and Koeeter as well as the Glazers (yes I admitted that Naplesfan!).

      UGH….

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      • Don’t disagree. Did you read my last sentence? “It is going to take near perfect execution on offense like this team had the first two weeks to win any more this year unless the running attack or defense changes drastically in its capability.”

        All I said is that it is all on Winston like it was all on Fitzpatrick the first four weeks. Unless something changes, the chances for success are not high. Fitzpatrick was essentially perfect the first two weeks and they won close games. He was not as perfect week 3 (but still played very well) and they lost because of the running game and defense. Week 4 he was average (not terrible) and they got killed. See the pattern here?

        Yes, the odds for success are low unless something changes in the running game and the defense. Not sure we will see this to have a well rounded team this year.

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  5. The offense is currently ranked #3 in the NFL. The defense is currently ranked #32. So being ranked #16 isn’t much of a surprise.

    What surprises me is that we keep talking about QBs and our offense when it’s our defense that could really help us get a few more wins in a 16-game season. Fire Mike Smith and fix this defense please. If Dirk Koetter won’t do it this week, Jason Licht should do it.

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    • YES!!!! Now you are talking!!!

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  6. If the O line keeps playing like they have last two games I’d say you can’t rank Bucs low enough. Between the defense being just lost and no run game or protection for WHOEVER the QB is I’d say we will be lucky to win another game.

    We saw the offenses potential if the O line can block fo first two games. It’s also coaching in that regard to an extent, but right side of line is horrible. They didn’t have a plan really to help against Mack. Dotson and Benenoch are both terrible. I expect we will keep getting blitzed until we show we can beat it. Falcons aren’t great overall defense but they can apply pressure. Likely be another beat down game. Another press conference about how they all should be fired but he won’t do the thing that makes sense and at least strip Smith of play calling if he doesn’t fire him. This team year after year is beyond frustrating. It’s no wonder when I’m at Steelers game and it’s louder when Bucs on offense than when Steelers were. Fans are just tired of it.

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  7. The team does look good on paper. They still have holes, but they need confidence more than anything else. We could have beaten New England last year and the Steelers two weeks ago. We lost, because those opponents believed they were going to win and they did. New England beat Atlanta in the super bowl, because the Patriots believed in themselves and the Falcons did not.
    I have no clue how to instill a winning attitude, but until it comes this team is never going to make the playoffs.

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