By: Justin Pawlowski - on twitter: @CommishOnline

A “must win” game in week 2 of the NFL season?

You bet.

After the Bucs came into the 2014 season with new hope, new optimism, a mostly new roster, and a new coaching staff, an underwhelming performance against the Panthers in week 1 has put the Bucs in dire position for week 2.

The Bucs defense was supposed to be dominant, but instead was lackluster. Yes, there are some that say the Bucs defense did their job by only allowing 20 points to the Panthers, but this was a defense hyped up as a unit that was to carry the Bucs in 2014. Derek Anderson was not supposed to be so efficient, the Panthers were not supposed to establish a run game, and the Bucs were expected to create splash plays and force turnovers on defense.

Unfortunately, the opposite happened, which led to an overall disappointing performance from that Bucs defense that should dominate any backup quarterback.

The Bucs offense was exactly what anyone with logic in their brain should have expected. The offensive line is average at best. Josh McCown played like the backup he’s been throughout his entire career. The super secret offense is still be in hiding.

Sunday, the Bucs won’t be facing the Rams backup quarterback, they’ll be facing the Rams 3rd string quarterback.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports the Bucs are likely to face Austin Davis as the Rams starting quarterback after backup QB Shaun Hill injured his thigh last week to the Vikings.

The Bucs (0-1) must avoid falling to 0-2 if they have any aspirations of making the postseason in 2014.

Should a week 2 game ever have that much meaning?

Before you think that I am being overly dramatic, let’s go through the facts.

Teams that start 0-2 in the NFL regular season make the playoffs just 12% of the time.

If the Bucs lose on Sunday against the Rams, that would mean: the Bucs lost to backup and 3rd string QBs, lost back-to-back home games, and lost a divisional game and two conference games, both of which are used for tiebreakers at the end of the season.

The fans will be excited for the induction of Derrick Brooks into the Ring of Honor with other Bucs “legends” in attendance, but the fact is that if the Bucs fail to win on Sunday, those same fans might be staring at another excruciatingly long season.

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