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10 Things We Think We Learned - Bucs vs. Rams - 2014 Wk 2

It's all over but the crying edition.

Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Ah, the start of a new NFL season. You have an offseason of moves, a new coaching staff and pundits pick your team to rise from the ashes and become relevant again. You get through pre-season with minimal losses and you're ready for opening day when it all comes together. doesn't. Can there be a worse feeling for a fan than seeing your team stumble out of the gates to 0-2?

And no team has stumbled as spectacularly as your Tampa Bay Buccaneers, offseason champions and losers to back up (and back up to the backup) QBs at home two weeks in a row.

These are dark times Buc fans. But what did week 2 teach us?

1. Let's start with the positives - Bobby Rainey. What a story this kid is. Another scrap pile success story for former GM Mark Dominik, Rainey has proven time and time again to be a quality back in this league. With Doug Martin nursing a knee injury, Rainey pounded out 144 hard earned yards. Doug Martin is supposed to be the Bucs "bell cow" but he hasn't looked like the same guy since the 2012 season ended. If Martin continues to struggle, Rainey just may start taking some of his carries and perhaps his job.

2. The much maligned offensive line was facing yet another premiere front four and this time actually held their own. Not only did they open holes for the running game but also kept Josh McCown relatively clean. They surrendered one sack which looked to be a coverage sack (or McCown holding on to the ball too long) and 5 QB hits. Not great but when all world and very rich premiere DE Robert Quinn leaves the game with just one QB hit and one tackle for loss, that's a pretty good day for Anthony Collins.

3. All day yesterday we were hearing it. "Oh Lovie is so conservative." Did you not see his resume, Buc fans? Lovie has always been and likely always will be by nature a conservative coach. It's served him well in this league and won him a lot of football games. It can also be maddening to watch. Many Buc fans came on after the Dungy years so they aren't used to this style of coaching. Even Schiano would gamble a bit more than Lovie does, but it is what it is. The Bucs wanted stability in their organization and they are getting it with Coach Smith. The Bucs will win under Smith but their margin for error is razor thin because of his coaching philosophy.

4. Josh McCown put together a better effort against the Rams this week but you have to wonder about that horrible interception in the red zone. Again, he panicked getting rushed and threw a rookie level pass across his body and into the teeth of the defense. If McCown hopes to remain the starting QB beyond the bye week, he needs to eliminate these critical errors. It's not just him though, the Bucs seemed to be trying to go 0-2 with the blocked punt and FG, huge momentum swinging plays in a close low scoring LovieBall kind of game that just can't happen.

But they do happen to bad teams, which the Bucs are.

5. I think the biggest indictment of McCown has been his inability to get the football to Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans. Heck, even Glennon knew where his bread was buttered. You can't have an elite level passing game if you can't get the football to the Dunkaneers. Sobering fact, JJ Watt has more TDs than Jackson, Evans and ASJ combined.

Thats not the way this thing is supposed to go.

6. The old cliche applies for the Bucs defense. If they didn't have bad luck, they'd have no luck at all. It's difficult to imagine a worse start for the Bucs defense, who seem to be fielding a practice squad with all the starters who have gone down. Of course, the most devastating was losing Gerald McCoy. He is the key cog in Lovie's Tampa Two. If he's lost for an extended period of time, it could be a very long year on defense. I did like what I saw from Will Gholston, Larry English and even Daquan Bowers. Let's face it though, without McCoy this defense will struggle.

Career backup Derek Anderson and some guy named Austin Davis just carved the Bucs up in their own house. Now they have a three game road trip to face Matt Ryan, Ben Roethlisberger and Drew Brees. Uh oh.

7. Again, with expectations raised in the off-season I think most fans and pundits are shocked at the Bucs start. Sure, there were nearly 200 roster transactions since Lovie's hiring and the team is instituting a new offense and defensive system. Add to that the Offensive coordinator has been dealing with a health issue since week 3 of the pre-season and you have a recipe for a dysfunctional start. But man, could it have set up better for the Bucs to start fast out of the gate? Now at 0-2, I find myself searching for where that first victory may come. Atlanta on a short week? Not without Gerald McCoy. Minnesota in after the bye week? At Cleveland? Ask the Saints about going to the Dawg pound.

You know it's tough for 0-2 teams to rally and make the playoffs. Carolina last season was the exception, not the rule. Of the 0-2 teams: Tampa Bay, New Orleans, NY Giants, Jacksonville, Oakland, Kansas City and perhaps Indianapolis if they fall to the Eagles tonight - who do you see recovering to make a run at the post season? Surely not the Bucs. No friends, it looks like we're in for another very tough and disappointing season.

I believe it was Pewter Report's Scott Reynolds who mentioned that former Bucs GM Bruce Allen told him that 0-2 is so devastating because you know you have to play a month of perfect football just to get back to a winning record. That weighs so heavily on a team that few can make the comeback.

At this point, the best we can hope for is to see the team improve every week. I have little doubt the Bucs will be better at the end of this season than they are today.

8. Let me digress a little here on Derrick Brooks. I know Brooks has to be crushed that the Bucs lost on his ring of honor day. He and Sapp are so competitive, they actually compare the team's performance on their respective days. Brooks is my all-time favorite Buccaneer. He's obviously a Hall of Famer, a humanitarian and man of God. I learned yesterday even the fury of Mother Nature can stop us celebrating this man.

I will admit though it hurt a little when he mentioned he never played in front of an empty stadium in Tampa. First because he apparently forgot about his rookie season and second because I remember those days when the Bucs were relevant. I long for them to return.

9. Of course we have to talk about that last moment when the Bucs appeared to make it into the range of kicker Patrick Murray only to see the 10 second runoff because Mike Evans got hurt. First, the play. Dashon Goldson has been fined and suspended for less than that hit was. Where was the targeting penalty? Second, Evans went down with 14 seconds left, why was it the Bucs fault the refs bumbled around for 6 seconds? I don't have an issue with the rule, it's there to protect from teams faking injuries to get a stoppage of time when it's running out. I just have a problem with how it was implemented in this case.

10. Bottom line, the Bucs aren't what we thought they were and deserved every bit of this 0-2 start. If you can't win your home games, you can't be relevant in this league. Period. Here's hoping that Tampa Bay can have a couple wins on this road trip and start to climb out of this hole they've dug for themselves.

I also want to add I hope Jeff Tedford gets better, because he looked pretty tired in some of the shots of the coaches box. Either that or he didn't want to see the Bucs, either.