It's no secret. Expectations are high for this Buccaneers team.
Following a 9-7 season, many are predicting that the Bucs will make a push towards the postseason for the first time in a decade. Behind a young core of talented offensive players, including Jameis Winston and Mike Evans, the Bucs appear to be poised for one of their best seasons in recent memory.
NFL.com thinks so, too. In his preseason power rankings, Elliot Harrison has the Buccaneers ranked No. 10 in the league.
"Tampa-ites ... Tampa Bay-ans ... (???) ... are pumped for this year's edition," Harrison wrote. "If only it was 1982 again, and you could order Doug Williams PJs from the Sears catalogue. The creamsicle unis might be gone, but the Bucs do have a franchise quarterback. Coupled with an ascending defense sprinkled with young playmakers (SEE: Alexander, Kwon), Tampa Bay should challenge for the NFC South crown. The worry was, is and remains running back. Thinking Doug Martin will emerge once again, but I can't crawl inside Dirk Koetter's head, either. Jacquizz?"
Although Harrison believes the Bucs are a top-ten team, Tampa Bay isn't a shoe-in to claim the NFC South crown. Harrison has the Falcons ranked as the No. 2 team in the league while the Panthers are ranked No. 19 and the Saints are ranked No. 22. Harrison's top five include New England, Atlanta, Green Bay, Oakland and Pittsburgh, in descending order. For his full set of power rankings, click HERE.