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GIMME 5

John Romano's Gimme 5 on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Talk of the town

Five topics suitable for inane debate on talk radio.

Josh Cool: He has 15 NFL starts, and already Josh Freeman has five fourth-quarter comebacks. That's more than Jeff Garcia, Brian Griese, Chris Simms, Brad Johnson or Shaun King had in Tampa Bay. Of the bunch, this may be Freeman's most impressive. He was 10-of-14 for 78 yards and an 8-yard scramble on the winning drive.

Better late than never: For the fourth time in five games, the Bucs allowed a running back to go over 100 yards. At least this time, the defense stood up when it mattered. Steven Jackson was a nonfactor in the second half.

Up in smoke: Good Blount? That would be in the Bucs backfield. Bad blunt? That would be in Jerramy Stevens' ashtray.

The glass is half full: The Bucs are just the third team in the past 40 years to have been outscored by 30 points or more in the first six games and still have a winning record. Can you say opportunistic? How about clutch?

But that glass may have a leak: The other teams that got off to 4-2 starts despite being outscored by 30 or more (2007 Lions, 1992 Broncos) finished 7-9 and 8-8. Can you say lucky? How about soft schedule?

A list of five

Five reasons the Bucs can contend.

5. Unmatched versatility when it comes to penalties.

4. Deadspin not soliciting texts from sideline reporter T.J. Rives.

3. In case of disaster, can rebench Sabby Piscitelli.

2. Two words: Fiscal conservatives.

1. Tampa Police has finite number of officers.

Five overlooked stars

Tim Crowder: The Rams were facing third and 11 with 5:35 remaining when Steven Jackson went up the middle, seemingly on his way to a first down before the Bucs defensive end grabbed him from behind. Without that tackle, the Rams could have put the game away.

Connor Barth: Just because it wasn't in the final minute doesn't mean Barth's 53-yard field goal wasn't a game-winner. Field goals of that distance are rare enough (the Bucs have had six in the past decade) and even more so in a one-point victory.

Offensive line: Okay, it didn't play very well. But it came through on the final drive with more subs (Jeremy Zuttah, Ted Larsen and James Lee) than starters.

Mike Williams: Freeman's longest completion barely passed the line of scrimmage. It was Williams who caught the pass in the flat, cut past two defenders and shook off safety Craig Dahl to gain 20 yards on a third and 10 to set up the winning score.

Ken Flajole: Rams defensive coordinator goes with a zone blitz on the final play. That's why Cadillac Williams was covered by a defensive end on the winning touchdown.

Five super picks

Checking out the best bets for Super Bowl XLV in Dallas.

1. Patriots: Still waiting for them to miss Randy Moss.

2. Steelers: James Harrison attending Assassins Anonymous.

3. Jets: Even though I think they'll implode.

4. Falcons: Dome team is 3-0 at home.

14. Bucs: Rah says best in NFC. Secondhand smoke?

Final five words

First blackout worth crying about.

John Romano's Gimme 5 on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 10/24/10 [Last modified: Monday, October 25, 2010 1:16am]
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