Talk of the town
Five topics suitable for inane debate on talk radio
1. The long view: The Bucs are not putting up much of an argument for critics who suggested last season was a tease. They were an up-and-coming team in 2010 that had a weak schedule and won a lot of close games. The schedule has gotten harder, the roster wasn't significantly upgraded and the holes are starting to show.
2. It ain't flag football: This was supposed to be a defense on the rise. Instead, the Bucs are on pace to give up more yards than any defense in Tampa Bay history. They are 30th in yards allowed, 24th in points.
3. ZZZZZZZ: Tampa Bay's offense: Nature's Ambien.
4. Silly penalties: There's a saying that you're either coaching it or allowing it to happen. In the past two games, Aqib Talib, LeGarrette Blount and Sean Jones have all been called for personal fouls at the end of plays.
5. This is a franchise QB: Josh Freeman challenged New Orleans players, argued with officials and chastised his teammates. He also had a 103.5 passer rating. You can't say the kid doesn't care.
A list of five
Five ways to improve in second half.
5. Mess up defenses by running 5-yard routes instead of 4-yard routes on third and 10.
4. Spot teams a 10-point lead and just begin the game at halftime.
3. Simplify the offense with this 9-9-9 game plan.
2. Bring back Barrett Ruud so at least there's someone to blame.
1. Ever consider Occupy Goodell?
81/0: The first number is Drew Brees' pass attempts against the Bucs this season. The second is how many times he was sacked.
16/16: The first is how many full games Gerald McCoy has played for Tampa Bay. The second is how many games he will have left early or missed in his first two seasons after one ankle and two arm injuries.
11/14: The first is how many runs of 20-plus yards the Bucs have surrendered halfway through the season. The second is how many they gave up in all of 2010.
58.3/71.4: The first is Connor Barth's percentage of successful field goal attempts of more than 40 yards in 2010. The second is his rate in 2011.
40/42: The first is career interceptions for Hall of Fame cornerback Roger Wehrli. The second is career interceptions for Ronde Barber.
Five super picks
Checking out the best bets for Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis.
1. Packers: Only flaw is that incessant Aaron Rodgers commercial.
2. Steelers: Notice how no one in Pittsburgh talks about missing Bill Cowher?
3. 49ers: Imagine if they could swap QBs with Stanford?
4. Chargers: Never has a good team lost so much.
16. Bucs: Half good or half bad? Take your pick.
Final five words
Darren Sproles or Kregg Lumpkin?