Talk of the town
Five topics suitable for inane debate on talk radio.
False start: The worst first half ever by a Bucs defense at Raymond James Stadium. And that's no exaggeration. The last time the Bucs gave up 28 points in the first half was 15 years ago. If you're counting, that was 229 halftimes and three head coaches ago.
Gladiator sequel? Raheem Morris told a radio reporter at halftime that the Bucs would be unleashed in the second half. Then he chose to punt on fourth and 3 from the Pittsburgh 36 when trailing 38-6. I'm not sure his definition of unleash is the same as Russell Crowe's.
Acid flashback: Kind of felt like the preseason. Lots of scrubs in the second half and Donald Penn apparently holding out.
Runnin' down a dream: Life is going to get increasingly difficult for Josh Freeman if the Bucs don't start running the ball better. Take away quarterback scrambles, and Tampa Bay is averaging 2.6 yards per carry. LeGarrette Blount may be a better answer when the Bucs try to run between the tackles.
Just a guess: It appears the Glazers have changed their ticket strategy. They ate tons of tickets to avoid blackouts in 2009, but it never paid off at the box office. So now it looks like they actually want blackouts to coerce fans into buying season tickets in the offseason because this game was far closer to a sellout than what we saw most of last season.
A list of five
Five advantages of the bye week.
5. Can catch up on phony payroll excuses.
4. Less secondhand smoke in defensive backs meeting room.
3. More time not to buy Rays tickets.
2. Wanted to hear Tony Dungy speak to badminton team.
1. Fans can practice that 75-mile drive.
Five silly stats
5-2: That's Charlie Batch's record as a starting quarterback against the Bucs. It's even more ridiculous when you consider he is 18-26 against every other team in the NFL.
33:06: Tampa Bay's time of possession Sunday. So the Bucs controlled the ball for 55 percent of the game and still lost by 25 points. Imagine if they'd actually had a bad day.
0: Sacks for the defense Sunday. Granted, Pittsburgh only threw 17 passes, but it's not like this is out of the ordinary. It was the fourth time in 11 games the defense was shut out. This from a franchise that once had sacks in 69 consecutive games from 1999 to 2003.
7: Runs from scrimmage for more than 10 yards this season. The bad news is Cadillac Williams only has one, Blount has one and Freeman has accounted for the other five.
6: Interceptions for the defense. It's obviously still early, but considering the defense has averaged barely one interception per game for the past six seasons, it's a nice change of pace.
Five super picks
Checking out the best bets for Super Bowl XLV in Dallas.
1. Steelers: Even with Big Ben on history's longest bathroom break.
2. Packers: Unless they lose tonight. In that case, I meant the Bears.
3. Patriots: Donations being accepted for underprivileged Randy Moss.
4. Falcons: Matt Bryant winner. Why does that sound familiar?
22. Bucs: Can't bye me love.
Final five words
Welcome back to planet Earth.