Talk of the town
Five topics suitable for inane debate on talk radio.
1. Nice gut check, fellas: It's true Carolina ran the ball 15 times for 76 yards and ate up 8:04 on the clock on the winning drive, but to be fair, it was pretty windy out there, and the Bucs were worried about their skirts blowing up.
2. Winless gauge: Still a long, long way from 0-16, but only three of Tampa Bay's final 10 opponents currently have a losing record. And all three of those games are on the road.
3. The more things change … : The defensive line finished with one sack. It was like Gaines Adams never left.
4. For better or worse: Whether they are doing it out of the goodness of their hearts (which is possible, if you believe in alternate universes) or as a business strategy to make the team seem relevant, the Glazers have done fans at home a huge favor by announcing sellouts when seats are still available. Whatever the reason, consider yourself fortunate, because that game should have been blacked out.
5. Paging commissioner Goodell: Congratulations, Dante Wesley. Your hit on Clifton Smith is the frontrunner for Cheap Shot of the Year. Your reward should be an unpaid suspension for the next two weeks.
A list of five
Five signs your rebuilding is going slowly.
5. Take a 7-0 lead? Get a Gatorade bath.
4. David Letterman scores more than your offense.
3. Colorado sheriff claims your game plan is a hoax.
2. You bring Jan Stenerud in for a workout.
1. Al Davis is offering advice.
Five contenders for worst in the NFL
1. Run defense: This one could be historically bad. The Bucs are giving up a league-worst average 171.6 yards per game on the ground, which would be the franchise's worst effort since the 0-14 Bucs of '76 gave up 182.9.
2. Placekicking: Bottom of the league, with two field goals. Even worse, five misses match Matt Bryant's total for the entire 2007 season.
3. Scoring offense: Take away interception and kick returns, and the Bucs' offense has averaged 12.5 points per game. Only the Rams, Browns, Raiders and Bills are worse.
4. Pass percentage: In an era in which quarterbacks routinely complete 60 percent of their passes, the Bucs are near the bottom of the league at 54.1 percent. It would be Tampa Bay's worst percentage since Trent Dilfer and Steve Walsh completed 52.1 percent in 1988.
5. Hope: You have to show someone what you're building around before you can have any hope.
Five super picks
Checking out the best bets for Super Bowl XLIV in Miami.
1. Saints: One of five teams to have never made a Super Bowl.
2. Broncos: Did Kyle Orton get a receipt when selling his soul?
3. Vikings: Should have had Joe Nathan close against the Ravens.
4. Patriots: Bucs-Pats will be Britain's worst mismatch since the Falkland Islands.
32. Bucs: Ten-game losing streak is topped only by the 26 in a row for the '76-'77 Bucs in team history.
Final five words
Queen Elizabeth is not pleased.