Talk of the town
Five topics suitable for inane debate on talk radio.
1. Grading the kid: He is not a kicker. He is not an offensive coordinator. He is not a free agent running back. Yet if Josh Freeman is really as good as he looked on Sunday, he will make you forget a lot of Tampa Bay's whiffs this season.
2. Remembering Lee Roy: The Glazers honored Lee Roy Selmon by putting his name in lights on the new Ring of Honor at Raymond James Stadium. The defensive line honored the franchise's all-time sack leader by putting Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers on the turf six times. The D-line had 11 sacks through seven games before Sunday.
3. Baby steps: Upon seeing Josh Freeman play, Antonio Bryant's left knee announced it was pain free.
4. You do realize you're playing the Bucs, right? The Packers seemed to get their game plans mixed up. Playing against a rookie quarterback, they were too conservative on defense. Playing against the worst run defense in the NFC, they were too wide open on offense. Green Bay dominated for long stretches but ultimately gave the game away.
5. Stating his case: Of all the new starters on defense, Geno Hayes has the best chance of becoming an impact player. Ironically, he moved into the starting lineup only because Tanard Jackson was suspended and Jermaine Phillips had to shift from linebacker back to safety.
A list of five
Five signs Josh Freeman is the real deal.
5. Tim Tebow's name scratched off Channelside condo mailbox.
4. Came up bigger than the halftime streaker.
3. Three words: Nutrisystem celebrity spokesman.
2. Charlie Crist now claims he never hugged Byron Leftwich.
1. Jon Gruden wants him.
(Not named Josh Freeman)
1. Maurice Stovall: Stepped in for Bryant and had 46 yards receiving, but his biggest contribution might have been a critical block on Clifton Smith's 83-yard kickoff return.
2. Connor Barth: Okay, so it was a measly 38-yard field goal. On the other hand, the Bucs had not made a field goal since Oct. 4 and are still in danger of challenging the 16-game records for fewest field goals (eight by the '99 Browns and '78 Colts and Eagles) and lowest percentage (41 by the '83 Patriots) in NFL history.
3. Raheem Morris: With his job on the line and his reputation taking a beating, he resisted the temptation to rush Freeman into the lineup too soon. His reward is his first victory.
4. A.J. Hawk: For about five seconds, it looked like the Green Bay linebacker had spoiled Tampa Bay's comeback bid with a fourth-quarter interception. Turns out, Hawk illegally held Kellen Winslow and the INT was wiped out. Seven plays later, the Bucs took the lead.
5. Josh Freeman: Aw, who are we kidding? It was his day.
Five super picks
Checking out the best bets for Super Bowl XLIV in Miami.
1. Saints: Great, great team. Other than, you know, the first 30 minutes.
2. Patriots: Good to see the long flight didn't bother their knees.
3. Steelers: And yet they're still chasing the Bengals.
4. Colts: Until the defense collapses in 10, 9, 8, 7 …
28. Bucs: So ends the second-longest losing streak in franchise history.
Final five words
Bucco Bruce: Pansy pirate rocks!