The Bucs were facing the one-win Chiefs, not the undefeated Falcons. They were facing quarterback Brady Quinn, not Tom Brady. They were at home and well-rested because of the bye week.
When the schedule-maker hands you a gift, what do you do? Punch it in the gut, pull its shirt over its head and take its lunch money. This is the NFL, so the Bucs need not apologize for or defend the merits of Sunday's victory against the hapless Chiefs.
In fact, they can go ahead and brag that they didn't give up an offensive touchdown to the Chiefs, while holding Jamaal Charles, who came in as the NFL's leading rusher, to 40 meaningless yards on 12 carries. The last time the Bucs didn't give up an offensive touchdown was Nov. 21, 2010, when they shut out the 49ers — 29 games ago.
Play of the day
When you look at the 38-10 final score, you probably think this game was never close to teetering the other way. And it probably wasn't. But there was one moment early in the fourth quarter when things got a little dicey for the Bucs.
The Chiefs had just blocked a punt to cut Tampa Bay's lead to 21-10, and the Bucs were one play away from going three-and-out for the second straight drive. That's when Bucs QB Josh Freeman threw up a jump ball and receiver Tiquan Underwood turned it into a 62-yard reception. Four plays later, Connor Barth chipped in a 27-yard field goal. Crisis avoided. Game secured.
Random thought of the day
Someday, Bucs safety Ronde Barber will look old, slow and ready for retirement. Today is not that day.
Three things that popped into my head
1. Only a few thousand of the 46,500 in attendance stayed until the very end. You would think more folks would stick around to celebrate what was just the second victory in the past 15 games. Guess they all had to get home to see the season premiere of The Walking Dead.
2. Speaking of zombies — you know, lost souls who wander around aimlessly in life and always find themselves in trouble — Bucs cornerback Aqib Talib was not missed at all. True, the Bucs were facing a guy (Quinn) making his first start in nearly three seasons, but the Bucs held the Chiefs to only 180 passing yards.
3. And speaking of Talib, coach Greg Schiano kind of hinted that Talib might return after his four-game suspension. Maybe Schiano had to say that, but let's hope he didn't mean it.
Man, if the Bucs could have just found a way to pull out either the Giants, Cowboys or Redskins games, they would be 3-2 right now and that's not half-bad through five games. Instead they're 2-3 with a rough next month on the schedule.