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Buccaneers vs. Texans predictions: Can Tampa Bay get a winning record?

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers play the Houston Texans today in an effort to earn their first winning record since 2012. Just two weeks ago, the Bucs looked like the worst team in the NFL and Lovie Smith's job was in jeopardy, while hope seems to be the main theme among Bucs fans today. What difference two weeks can make.

Las Vegas doesn't trust the Bucs, as most oddsmakers have them as seven-point underdogs right now. That seems a bit much -- while the Bucs managed to barely beat a bad team and got clobbered by a good one, the Texans are still 0-2 and ravaged by injuries. They're starting one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL behind a porous offensive line with no running game -- their only redeeming factors are J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney. Those are admittedly good redeeming factors, but they're still only two players.

Meanwhile, the Bucs are looking to build on a strong performance last week marred only by the offense's inability to finish the job. Leaning on Doug Martin, screen passes and extra blockers should help the Tampa Bay offense cope with J.J. Watt and company, while the defensive line should have a field day against all the injury replacements for the Texans.

So with all that, I say the Bucs win fairly easily in a low-scoring game. 23-13 sounds about right.

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This will also be your first quarter open thread.