Talk of the town
Five topics suitable for inane debate on talk radio.
Split personality: It was the Steel Curtain. With a few holes. It was the Purple People Eaters. Vegetarian style. It was one of the most bizarre defensive efforts you will ever see. The Bucs allowed two mediocre quarterbacks to throw for more than 300 yards but kept coming up with big plays when necessary. A defense can get away with giving up 28 points when it scores 14 of its own.
The time is now: Give Cadillac Williams some pass routes. Give him some third-down assignments. Give him a gold watch, and a hospital gift certificate. Just as long as you give the ball to LeGarrette Blount 20 times a game.
Ahem, Matt: If Max Hall and Derek Anderson are more talented, then Matt Leinart should consider an alternate line of work.
Reality check: One of these days, the lack of a pass rush from the line will cost the Bucs. The corners and linebackers are doing a nice job blitzing, but that doesn't always work against better quarterbacks.
Even if stats are for losers: So what does a 5-2 start mean from a historic standpoint? The Bucs have done it six previous times (1979, '95, '97, 2002, '05 and '08) and went on to make the playoffs four times. Their average finish was 10-6.
A list of five
Five signs Raheem is getting cocky.
5. Best teeth in NFC. That's right. He said it.
4. Refers to himself as Chucky II.
3. Sets alarm for 3:17 a.m. Then goes back to bed.
2. Wants Rich McKay fired in Atlanta.
1. Sitting between Bryan and Joel in Glazer Hanukkah card.
Five sonnets for Josh
Ode to an arm: Deep routes and touch passes. Out patterns and swing passes. Not every throw is perfect, but every one has a chance to be. And that's what you look for in a young quarterback.
Ode to legs: There is a difference between a running quarterback and a quarterback who can run. A running quarterback takes off too soon and too often. A quarterback who knows how to run goes at the right moment. And that's why Freeman has more first downs rushing than any QB in the NFC.
Ode to a mind: Freeman has gone 132 consecutive passes without an interception. For a 22-year-old, that's an impressive streak. (And we'll conveniently ignore the sack he took late Sunday.)
Ode to a heart: Sixteen career starts. Six fourth-quarter comebacks. Not even John Elway racked 'em up that fast.
Ode to a GM: Mark Dominik was on the job for about three months when he placed his faith — and possibly his future as an NFL general manager — on Freeman in the first round of the 2009 draft. Anyone want to question that choice?
Five super picks
Checking out the best bets for Super Bowl XLV in Dallas.
1. Patriots: Plus two firsts and two seconds in 2011 draft. Sheesh.
2. Packers: Hmm, didn't Brett Favre used to play for them?
3. Falcons: Hmm, didn't Brett Favre used to play for them?
4. Jets: Hmm, didn't Brett Favre used to play for them?
14. Bucs: Next week in Atlanta for the division lead.
Final five words
I want a Raheem costume.