The Bucs are in the middle of a stretch of three games in 12 days, a daunting challenge all by itself.
But consider this: There are 45 active quarterbacks who have thrown a pass against the Bucs, and of those, only three have played Tampa Bay at least three times and remain undefeated against them. Those three? The Vikings' Case Keenum, who just threw for 369 yards and three touchdowns against the Bucs on Sunday, and the Giants' Eli Manning and Patriots' Tom Brady, who both come to Raymond James Stadium in the next nine days.
So to avoid a 1-3 start, the Bucs need to beat one of the two quarterbacks they've had the hardest times beating in their history.
Keenum improved to 3-0 against the Bucs with Sunday's win, matching Brady's record in his career against Tampa Bay. But Manning's 5-0 mark, including a postseason win against the Bucs the last time they made the playoffs in January 2008, can move to No. 1 all-time against the Bucs with a win Sunday. As it stands, the only other player 5-0 against Tampa Bay as a starting quarterback is former Cowboys star Danny White, who went 5-0 from 1978-83, including two playoff wins.
So the Bucs face three NFL quarterbacks with a combined 11-0 record against them, all in a span of less than two weeks. Manning's overall stats in his wins against the Bucs aren't staggering -- 10 TDs, five INTs -- but the Giants have played well against Tampa Bay. A brief synopsis:
-- Two years ago, he threw two touchdowns as the Giants pulled out to a 17-6 lead in the second quarter, though the Bucs got two interceptions and pulled within a two-point conversion of tying the game in the fourth quarter before the Giants pulled away to a 32-18 win.
-- In 2012, Manning had a ridiculous 510 yards (second-most ever against the Bucs behind Derek Carr's 513 last year) and three touchdowns (and three INTs) in a wild 41-34 Giants win. The Bucs led 27-19 in the fourth, and Manning threw two touchdowns to take the lead, and after the Bucs rallied to tie with 1:58 left, he threw a 50-yard pass to set up the winning touchdown.
-- In the playoff win at Raymond James after the 2007 season, Manning was sharp -- 20-for-27 for 185 yards and two touchdowns without an interception. It was a 24-7 game with four minutes to play. He didn't throw any interceptions in his first three wins against the Bucs, including two easy regular-season wins -- 17-3 in 2006, 24-0 in 2009. throwing for a modest 154 and 161 yards in those.