Desperate times call for desperate measures.
The old "our backs are against the wall" mentality has helped football teams win a lot of games.
Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith knows it. Houston Texans chieftain Bill O'Brien is keenly aware.
They both claim desperation status heading into the Bucs game Sunday at Houston.
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"I don't want to hear about them being desperate. We're desperate," Smith says. "No one wants to win any more than we do. I know where we are and having an opportunity to do something that we haven't done in awhile -- to be over .500."
O'Brien says his 0-2 Texans need a win to salvage their season.
Smith wants to bring the Bucs home with a 2-1 record, which would give fans a reason to show up at Raymond James Stadium.
Both present legitimate arguments.
At quarterback, O'Brien is starting Ryan Mallett, the gunslinger who can't shoot straight and melts when things in his backfield heat up.
Lovie has a patchwork offensive line that has to stop J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney and Vince Wilfork.
Desperation is the best way to explain what has been happening over at One Buc Place since Lovie took over the team in 2014. He entered this season with a .125 winning percentage that tied him for the worst in Bucs history. The Bucs haven't been over .500 since December 2012, which was a month after Barack Obama won his second term.
The Texans are one loss away from slipping into Roger Goodell's abyss.
The Bucs didn't get a lot of love after they beat the Drew Brees-led Saints last week and see this as a statement game.
Lovie took some desperate measures this week by moving recently acquired Tim Jennings ahead of Alterraun Verner at cornerback. Verner was brought in last year, costing the Bucs $25.5 million over four years. Demoting him says it was not a good use of money. Desperate folks often only see extreme options, but this could be a good move.
Mallett is 1-for-17 passing when under pressure. His quarterback rating of 66.2 has him ranked 29th. Now that's a desperate quarterback.
So expect Lovie's front four to bring the house, though his best defensive lineman, Gerald McCoy,is listed as questionable.
The Bucs have a potential budding pass rusher in Jacquies Smith, who spent most of last Sunday in the Saints backfield, but we are not sure if he is legit because he is still wearing his journeyman garb. Jacquies is desperate to prove he is for real.
The Texans' offense is in worse shape than the Bucs with all-pro left tackle Duane Brown and elite running back Arian Foster not expected to play.
So the pressure is on Lovie. The front four is the lifeblood of his defense and it's going against a crippled offensive line that is protecting a quarterback who throws crooked passes.
On paper, the Bucs should win that battle, but if they don't come home with a win, the Lovie whisperers will be shouting for his scalp again.
As desperate as the Texans are on offense, their defense is impressive. When you have Watt, a healthy Clowney and a Wilfork defying Father Time, you evoke fear.
So now it's on quarterback Jameis Winston, running back Doug Martin and receivers Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson. Throw in a suspect offensive line that is banged up and waiting for rookie left tackle Donovan Smith to figure things out, and you see desperation.
Winston showed marked improvement last week, which is promising. But he will face a much stouter defense this time.
The Bucs need to get a run game going to help Winston and a lot of that is predicated on how backup center Joe Hawley, starting in place of Evan Smith, can handle Wilfork, who outweighs him by about 50 pounds.
"He (Wilfork) is a force we will have to deal with in order to get the running game going. It starts there," Lovie Smith said. "He can get some push so Joe and the rest of the guys, it will be a big challenge for them."
If you are Lovie Smith and can hear the howling wolves crying at night for your blood, you are desperate. If you are O'Brien and thinking things were better when you were at Penn State, you are desperate.