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Buccaneers were the worst team in the NFL over the past two years

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Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Hey, did you want to hear optimistic things about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers? Well, not in this story. Here we're going to talk about the way the Bucs have been horrifyingly awful over the past two years. Courtesy of ESPN, fun stat:

26: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have lost 26 games over the last two seasons, the most of any NFL team in that time.

That's one stark statistic, though it shouldn't have been unexpected. The Bucs did, after all, get the number one pick this past year, and Greg Schiano was fired the year before for being terrible.

But the statistic is also a telling reflection of the way the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have slowly turned into the Cleveland Browns or Oakland Raiders ever since winning the Super Bowl. The Bucs haven't won a playoff game since then, and they haven't even been to the playoffs since 2007 The only winning season since firing Jon Gruden came in 2010, and that 10-6 season wasn't good enough for any kind of prize.

To make matters worse, for most of that period they've been a laughing stock of the NFL beyond just the losses. From Raheem Morris losing complete control of his team in 2011, to Greg Schiano's bluster and bullying, to MRSA, to Lovie Smith coming in and promptly losing more games than he's ever lost in a season. The past years have been trying for the Buccaneers.

This time, there's hope -- as there has been every step of the way. Because in sports, there's always hope. There's always optimism. Here's to hoping that this time, it's actually warranted.