The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will face the Jacksonville Jaguars today, in a battle between two of the worst teams in the NFL. One of these teams will get to feel good about itself tonight, while the other will look swiftly to the future -- a future that may not include the same head coach, or players. This is a must-win game for both teams not because it will be relevant for the playoff race, but because of what a loss would say about the state of the team.
The Bucs have a bit of an issue here: they have a slew of injuries, with three starting offensive linemen, two starting tight ends and a starting cornerback ruled out for the game. Meanwhile, the Jaguars are healthier than they've been in a while -- Paul Posluszny is the only truly relevant absence, while Julius Thomas will make his debut for Jacksonville.
Still, the Bucs can't use injuries to excuse a loss. They haven't won in front of their home crowd since Lovie Smith became the head coach last year, and this will be the best opportunity to do so this year. They'd better make it count.
Consider this your first-quarter open thread.