By Max Luckan

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 8: Running back Chris Ivory #23 of the New York Jets runs for a first down as defensive end Adrian Clayborn #94 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers attempts to bring him down during the second quarter of a game at MetLife Stadium on September 8, 2013 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Jets defeated the Bucs 18-17. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)

Running back Chris Ivory #23 of the New York Jets runs for a first down as defensive end Adrian Clayborn #94 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers attempts to bring him down (Credit, Rich Schultz /Getty Images)

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If the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are ever going to get a win this season, now would be the time to do it.

Thursday night, the Bucs take on the Carolina Panthers on the national stage, on NFL Network, and everyone will be watching. Well, the diehard fans will be watching, because the Bucs are so bad that they aren’t even worth watching to casual fans at this point.

Now or Never

Again, now would be the time for a win.

Bucs head coach Greg Schiano sees it the same way.

“First and foremost, we desperately need a win, right?” Schiano said. “That’s a good headline: desperately need a win.”

“I think what’s most important is I think the guys recognize that every other NFL player watches this game, at least if they’re a football fan they do,” said Schiano. “The Thursday night football game is part of their week. Coaches not always because some of them are still working. Some get their stuff done and are able to tune in a little bit. It’s a big part of our league. Yeah, when you get a chance to be the only show in the league, everybody understands that. Sure they do.”

This is a rare moment where Schiano is right. At this point in time, the Bucs are the laughingstock of the NFL. Every other team wants to play the Bucs, and every other team would welcome the opportunity to play the Bucs on national television at the moment.

But when will that turning point come for Tampa Bay?

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Wash, Rinse, Repeat

As it currently stands, it is wash, rinse and repeat for the Bucs every single week. The Bucs are a competitive team, that’s evident in the final scores every week. For the most part, the games are close but there are too many similarities every single week.

Usually, the Bucs start off games well and it looks like they have a chance. Then the second half comes around, and the offense and, to a certain extent the defense, collapses.

And after the conclusion of the game, Schiano steps up to the podium and mutters the same thing every time: we will get better, it starts with me, and the fans should be patient.

Notice a common theme here?

The theme is that the Bucs put the same product out on the field every single time. There’s no improvement, neither on the field nor within the coaching staff. Credit the Bucs, at least, with being consistent. But the problem is, they are consistently awful.

It’s almost as if the Bucs are looking to play at the same level every time. It’s like Schiano said, “Screw it, we don’t need improvement.”

Some of the similarities have changed with the quarterback switch. Mike Glennon has played much better than Josh Freeman did but all other aspects of this Bucs team have remained the same. It’s strange how the Bucs aren’t making any progress, despite the amount of talent this football team actually has. Once again, Schiano can no longer blame the poor play on Josh Freeman, but he should probably try to change up a few things once a while, because maybe, just maybe, a few more alterations could do the trick.

While the Bucs aren’t going to be making a playoff run anytime soon, they could at least start repairing their joke of an image with a win on Thursday night.

For more Bucs news and updates, visit Bucs Central.

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Max Luckan lives in Tampa, FL and is a sports writer covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and NFL. Luckan has been covering the Buccaneers for a few years now. Max is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on