NFC South Power Rankings: End of preseason standings
Aug 29, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) drops back against the Cleveland Browns during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Cleveland Browns defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-7. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Last week: 4
This is the start for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but there is still a lot of work to do before they can be considered legitimate NFC South contenders. First overall pick Jameis Winston is going to take time to adjust to life in the NFL, but he’s going to find it difficult behind that offensive line. Taking just 99 snaps, the rookie passer has already been sacked seven times in preseason.
Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson will need to have big years again to help out the rookie, although rookie receiver Kenny Bell has been placed on injured reserve. Winston and Evans could be the future, but the pairing are unlikely to yield results just yet.
Defensively, Lovie Smith has turned to a player he coached in Chicago, cornerback Tim Jennings. The 31 year old may be familiar with the way Smith operates, but I’m not so sure he has enough in the tank to be a reliable performer up against a number of talented receivers in the NFC South.
Tampa Bay is taking baby steps, but this could be another long season of transition. Bucs fans, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Next: No. 3