2012 NFL Preseason Power Rankings: Bucs Ranked Worst In NFC South

From The Commish, written by Jason Clary
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TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 27:  Coach Greg Schiano of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers speaks to the media at an introduction press conference at the team training facility January 27, 2012 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

TAMPA, FL – JANUARY 27: Coach Greg Schiano of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers speaks to the media at an introduction press conference at the team training facility January 27, 2012 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

For Buccaneers fans who have high expectations for the 2012 season, don’t be alarmed at Justin Pawlowski’s low ranking for the team. Even with new coaches and new players slated to start on both offense and defense, the Bucs could be better off than their 12th-worst ranking in the NFL.

Split up into two columns on Justin’s list, the bottom half of the NFL appears on the right side while the best teams are on the left. What is the biggest difference from the left side to the right? The top teams in the NFL have a secure, unquestioned quarterback situation. For teams like Miami, Seattle and Cleveland, there is no hint at who will be taking the opening day snaps.

When it comes to the Buccaneers, Josh Freeman will have added pressure this season. “It’s a quarterback driven league,” Justin said. “I think Josh Freeman will live up to the pressure this year.”

Apart from quarterback, Justin expects the long-term contract to help Vincent Jackson’s confidence and consistency in the Buccaneers offense. He also expects improvements on defense, saying “Just having a direction is going to help.”

Below you’ll see the power rankings so far, ranked in a direction from worst to first. See where the Buccaneers and the rest of the NFC South stack up against the NFL’s best.

32. Indianapolis Colts
2011 Record: 2-14 (4th, AFC South)
2011 Defense: 28th
2011 Offense: 29th

31. Jacksonville Jaguars
2011 Record: 5-11 (3rd, AFC South)
2011 Defense: 11th
2011 Offense: 28th

30. Miami Dolphins
2011 Record: 6-10 (3rd, AFC East)
2011 Defense: 6th
2011 Offense: 20th

29. Minnesota Vikings
2011 Record: 3-13 (4th, NFC North)
2011 Defense: 31st
2011 Offense: 19th

28. Cleveland Browns
2011 Record: 4-12 (4th, AFC North)
2011 Defense: 5th
2011 Offense: 30th

27. Arizona Cardinals
2011 Record: 8-8 (2nd, NFC West)
2011 Defense: 17th
2011 Offense: 24th

26. Washington Redskins
2011 Record: 5-11 (4th, NFC East)
2011 Defense: 21st
2011 Offense: 26th

25. Seattle Seahawks
2011 Record: 7-9 (3rd, NFC West)
2011 Defense: 7th
2011 Offense: 23rd

24. Oakland Raiders
2011 Record: 8-8 (3rd, AFC West)
2011 Defense: 29th
2011 Offense: 16th

23. Tennessee Titans
2011 Record: 9-7 (2nd, AFC South)
2011 Defense: 8th
2011 Offense: 22nd

22. St. Louis Rams
2011 Record: 2-14 (4th, NFC West)
2011 Defense: 26th
2011 Offense: 32nd

21. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2011 Record: 4-12 (4th, NFC South)
2011 Defense: 32nd
2011 Offense: 27th

20. New York Jets
2011 Record: 8-8 (2nd, AFC East)
2011 Defense: 20th
2011 Offense: 13th

19. Cincinnati Bengals
2011 Record: 9-7 (3rd, AFC North)
2011 Defense: 9th
2011 Offense: 18th

18. San Diego Chargers
2011 Record: 8-8 (2nd, AFC West)
2011 Defense: 22nd
2011 Offense: 5th

17. Buffalo Bills
2011 Record: 6-10 (4th, AFC East)
2011 Defense: 30th
2011 Offense: 14th

16. Kansas City Chiefs
2011 Record: 7-9 (4th, AFC West)
2011 Defense: 12th
2011 Offense: 31st

15. Pittsburgh Steelers
2011 Record: 12-4 (2nd, AFC North)
2011 Defense: 1st
2011 Offense: 21st

14. Philadelphia Eagles
2011 Record: 8-8 (2nd, NFC East)
2011 Defense: 10th
2011 Offense: 8th

13. Chicago Bears
2011 Record: 8-8 (3rd, NFC North)
2011 Defense: 14th
2011 Offense: 17th

12. Atlanta Falcons
2011 Record: 10-6 (2nd, NFC South)
2011 Defense: 18th
2011 Offense: 7th

11. Dallas Cowboys
2011 Record: 8-8 (3rd, NFC East)
2011 Defense: 16th
2011 Offense: 15th

10. Denver Broncos
2011 Record: 8-8 (1st, AFC West)
2011 Defense: 24th
2011 Offense: 25th

9. Detroit Lions
2011 Record: 10-6 (2nd, NFC North)
2011 Defense: 23rd
2011 Offense: 4th

8. San Francisco 49ers
2011 Record: 13-3 (1st, NFC West)
2011 Defense: 2nd
2011 Offense: 11th

7. New Orleans Saints
2011 Record: 13-3 (1st, NFC South)
2011 Defense: 13th
2011 Offense: 2nd

6. Houston Texans
2011 Record: 10-6 (1st, AFC South)
2011 Defense: 4th
2011 Offense: 10th

5. Carolina Panthers
2011 Record: 6-10 (3rd, NFC South)
2011 Defense: 27th
2011 Offense: 5th

4. Baltimore Ravens
2011 Record: 12-4 (1st, AFC North)
2011 Defense: 3rd
2011 Offense: 12th

3. Green Bay Packers
2011 Record: 15-1 (1st, NFC North)
2011 Defense: 19th
2011 Offense: 1st

2. New York Giants
2011 Record 9-7 (1st, NFC East)
2011 Defense: 25th
2011 Offense: 9th

1. New England Patriots
2011 Record 13-3 (1st, AFC North)
2011 Defense: 15th
2011 Offense: 3rd

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