Talk of the town
Five topics suitable for inane debate on talk radio.
Finally back to Earth: The injuries came first. Reality showed up soon after. The depleted offensive line cannot pass block, and the weakened defense cannot come up with a clutch stop. It's unfortunate but not unexpected with this many practice squad graduates.
Heimlich classes available: Yes, this should have felt familiar. In 2007, the Bucs were 9-5 and lost to the 49ers (4-10) and Panthers (6-9). In '08, the Bucs were 9-5 and lost consecutive home games to the Chargers (6-8) and Raiders (4-11). Now the 8-5 Bucs lose to a 3-10 Lions team that had not won on the road since 2007.
Ten-minute countdown: Dec. 19, 2010 at 3:45 p.m. Visions of playoffs. Dec. 19, 2010 at 3:55 p.m. Scouting the 2011 NFL draft.
Whatever happened to bold? I hated the backward approach on offense in the fourth quarter. After mixing up the playcalling all day, they went to five straight runs and settled for a field goal. And Detroit still had enough time to drive 58 yards to kick a tying field goal.
The old man and the D: If he wants to come back in 2011, the Bucs should provide Ronde Barber with his own office and a rookie to carry his toiletries. There were entire drives where it appeared Barber was the only defender with a clue. He finished with six tackles for 1-yard gain or less and had a critical third-down stop on a Drew Stanton scramble.
A list of five
Five signs Christmas will be better.
5. New campaign for metric system. Blackouts would only go 75 kilometers!
4. Along with no smoking section, Blue Martini adding no Taser section.
3. The new "Third-And-Short for Dummies" is at Barnes & Noble.
2. Mark Dominik getting a $25 waiver gift card from the Glazers.
1. Finally found that second-round receipt for Dexter Jackson.
Five defensive disappointments
1. Yes, the defense is beat up. But I'm still not convinced a zone blitz that has Stylez G. White covering Calvin Johnson on third down is a good idea. Twice, Johnson converted on third and 10 against that formation.
2. To some degree, Raheem Morris is right. Stats are not always the best measure of success. It's not a problem that his defense is giving up gobs of yards. But it is a huge problem that the defense is not making big plays. For the second week in a row, the Bucs failed to produce a takeaway.
3. Barrett Ruud.
4. If you celebrate the Josh Freeman comebacks, you should also remember the defensive collapses. In the past four weeks, the Bucs have blown two late leads and failed to stop the Ravens in the fourth quarter.
5. First overtime play: A 26-yard run up the gut. Second overtime play: 14-yard run up the middle. The rest of overtime: Virtually meaningless.
Five super picks
Checking out the best bets for Super Bowl XLV in Dallas.
1. Patriots: They barely look like they're trying at this point.
2. Eagles: Roger Goodell already bribing PETA with tickets.
3. Falcons: Did you know Mike Smith is 32-14 as a head coach?
4. Ravens: Or the Steelers. They're interchangeable.
16. Bucs: Oh no! The first-place Seahawks are coming.
Five final words
Suddenly, .500 is looking plausible.