Talk of the town
Five topics suitable for inane debate on talk radio.
1. You may now scratch your head: Considering Kansas City is one of the NFL's worst teams, this was hardly Tampa Bay's most impressive win. But it is in the running for most inexplicable. Let us count the oddities: The 21-point comeback is the largest in team history to win a game. The Bucs' record with a negative turnover ratio under Jon Gruden is 6-34; when an opponent rushes for 100 yards, it's 5-18; and when trailing after three quarters, it's 6-43. Other than that, they had this game all the way.
2. The great wall of chunky: Clifton Smith's best move on his 97-yard TD kickoff return was getting behind the wedge of Jimmy Wilkerson (290 pounds), John Gilmore (257) and Jameel Cook (237). Cook threw a hip check that took out Tyron Brackenridge and forced Devard Darling outside.
3. One-yard gain, want it or not: Nice to see Michael Clayton play a larger offensive role. Now please stop giving him the ball on the end-around.
4. Running in place: Granted, Warrick Dunn is hurt, and the fullbacks are on the endangered species list. But the Bucs have averaged 2.7 yards per run the past three weeks. They ain't going far if that doesn't improve.
5. January dreaming: Feeling frisky? Thinking the playoffs are in Tampa Bay's future? Recent history says you're probably right. Of the last eight teams to start 6-3, six made the playoffs.
A list of five
Five surprises in the victory.
5. Didn't try to sneak in Warrick Dunn in a body cast.
4. Obama campaign denies the four turnovers were part of "redistribute the wealth" policy.
3. Herm Edwards wears "Yeah, but Rod Marinelli is 0-8" T-shirt.
2. Jon Gruden didn't put David Price in sooner.
1. Bucs clinch NFC South based on electoral votes.
Five ways the Bucs could have lost
1. If Turk McBride wasn't a nimrod. The Chiefs DE was called for a critical roughing-the-passer penalty in the third quarter. Instead of punting from their 19, the Bucs got a first down and ended up with a field goal.
2. If Ike Hilliard wasn't the toughest guy on the field. He's 32, on the small side and not particularly fast for his occupation, and yet the Bucs receiver is always there when he is needed most. He caught four passes in the final 11 minutes, including three for first downs.
3. If Jeremy Trueblood wasn't one lucky guy. He happened to pick the moment Matt Bryant missed a 38-yard OT field-goal attempt to be called for a false start. The penalty gave the Bucs a second chance, and Bryant walked away a hero.
4. If the officiating crew didn't have integrity (or insanity). Tony Gonzalez is a future Hall of Famer who made an incredible one-handed catch at home in the final three minutes. And he was penalized for pass interference. That call takes guts. It also essentially ended the Chiefs' final possession.
5. If another team had picked up Clifton Smith when the Bucs cut him in August.
Five super picks
Checking out the best bets for Super Bowl XLIII in Tampa.
1. Giants: I'm thinking Super Bowl XLII wasn't such an upset.
2. Titans: Think where they would be if Vince Young wasn't a crybaby.
3. Steelers: Maybe Bill Cowher wasn't such a genius. Pittsburgh is 15-8 without him.
4. Eagles: If Daniel Snyder wasn't such a (insert preferred derogatory name), I'd put Washington here.
9. Bucs: Congratulations, Jon Gruden, the Bucs' wins leader.
Final five words
How many bye-week injuries?