Talk of the town
Five topics suitable for inane debate on talk radio.
Worthy of a refund: Some losses are disappointing. Some are ugly. This one was embarrassing. You can live with a team that lacks talent. A lack of passion is inexcusable.
A stopwatch costs $10: They say you can't teach speed. Okay. How about teaching scouts to look for speed? The Bucs run like they've got turn signals on.
Pass happy: Matt Schaub, Drew Brees, Alex Smith and Matt Stafford have had passer ratings of 154.9, 101.4, 127.2 and 118.9 against the Bucs. The NFL has announced it will begin grading on a curve.
Reality check: Josh Freeman said afterward that he feels like he's throwing the ball well. If he really believes that, his standards are not high enough.
Aim high: Last week I told you the Bucs were on pace to give up more yards than any Tampa Bay defense in history. Apparently, they've got even bigger aspirations. The Bucs are allowing 6.39 yards per play. In the past 20 years, the only NFL defense that gave up more was the 2008 Lions at 6.41. Detroit was 0-16 that year.
A list of five
Five signs you're a bad football team.
5. Dallas just asked if you're going to use the rest of your salary cap.
4. Albert Haynesworth named team MVP.
3. Herman Cain got you confused with Tampa's lingerie team.
2. London fans petitioning for the Seahawks in 2012.
1. Tim Tebow is praying for you.
Five biggest disappointments
Mike Williams: Last season he was a sensation. This year, he has been practically nonexistent. After setting a Bucs rookie record with 11 touchdown receptions in 2010, he's on pace for two this season. And he's among the NFL leaders in dropped passes.
LeGarrette Blount: He was a one-dimensional player last season. Now, he's not even doing that. If you can't block and have trouble in the passing game, you need to do better than 10 rushing attempts for 34 yards like Blount had Sunday.
Quincy Black: The Bucs are paying him like he's one of the better linebackers in the league. So far, they are not getting their money's worth.
Aqib Talib: He's still one of the best players the Bucs have on defense, but no one is talking about him as a Pro Bowl talent these days. He's on pace for a career-low two interceptions and has had some noticeable lapses.
Josh Freeman: For months I've defended Freeman because his receivers have been weak and the running game has been worse. But the truth is he has not been very accurate, and he has forced too many passes.
Five super picks
Checking out the best bets for Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis.
1. Packers: Most teams hope for a bye week after Monday Night Football. The Packers hit the jackpot. They get the Bucs.
2. Steelers: Okay, who taught them about the forward pass?
3. 49ers: The NFL is a better place when the 49ers are winning.
4. Texans: AFC teams better worry if Houston gets homefield advantage.
20. Bucs: Need to go 6-1 just to match last season.
Final five words
Thank heaven for the blackout.