Talk of the town
Five topics suitable for inane debate on talk radio.
1. Keep the throwback jerseys handy: At 0-5, you can not seriously talk about a winless season. At 0-6? Blab away. If the Bucs do not beat Carolina at home next week, their chances for seasonlong misery greatly increase. At that point, it would be difficult to see in which of their remaining games they would be considered the favorites.
2. Run into the ground: Not sure if Jeff Faine is that good or Sean Mahan is that bad, but the running game has disappeared in recent weeks. Another grave miscalculation for a coaching staff that was planning to blow opponents away on the ground.
3. Best receiver pound for pound: Finally, a receiver who knows the meaning of yards after catch. If only the other guys were as explosive as Donald Penn.
4. Welcome to the fight: This is how it's supposed to work when you pay a guy big bucks to be the centerpiece of your offense. I don't know whether Kellen Winslow did a better job of running routes, whether offensive coordinator Greg Olson designed the game plan around him or whether Josh Johnson looked for him more, but the Bucs need to continue exploiting that tight end mismatch.
5. Sorry, it has to be said: Remember a few weeks ago when Raheem Morris dared reporters to write that Michael Clayton shouldn't have been re-signed? Okay, Raheem. I dare you to say Michael Clayton is not overpaid.
A list of five
Five signs the Bucs are improving.
5. Raheem Morris' winning percentage is stable.
4. Haven't fired an offensive coordinator in weeks.
3. Referee handbook no longer refers to a false start penalty as a "Trueblood."
2. Sold another ticket for next week's game.
1. Won Nobel Prize for sucking.
Five numbers to consider
50 Average yards gained by the running backs in the past four games. They're getting 16 carries a game and averaging 3.1 yards per carry. Pathetic would be the word for that.
7 Combined sacks for all the defensive ends and tackles on the Bucs roster. Bengals defensive end Antwan Odom has eight by himself.
40, 21, 50 Seconds required for three of Philadelphia's touchdown drives. The drives went 64, 57 and 27 yards.
157.2 Donovan McNabb's passer rating. He's the winner in the battle of NFC East quarterbacks against the Bucs defense. Tony Romo had a 140.6, and Eli Manning was at 106.4.
2.5 Victories the Bucs averaged the six previous seasons when they began 0-5.
Five super picks
Checking out the best bets for Super Bowl XLIV in Miami.
1. Saints: Better hope they're not as overrated as LSU.
2. Giants: Tom Coughlin pushing Bill Belichick for most unlikable genius title.
3. Vikings: Brett Favre had to turn 40 to get the first 5-0 start of his career.
4. Bengals: I don't really think they're that good, but it's the first chance I've had to include Cincinnati in 10 years of doing this list.
31. Bucs: It's a toss-up between Rams and Bucs for the worst team in the NFL.
Final five words
Good thing they switched kickers.