JR: Okay, Gary. I have a wager for you. Which comes first today for the Saints' Drew Brees: a touchdown pass or an incompletion?
GS: I'm going to go with an incompletion. After all, you can always count on Jeremy Shockey to drop a pass.
JR: Do you realize Brees will be the fifth quarterback among the top 10 in NFL passing ratings whom the Bucs have faced? I'm beginning to think Tampa Bay's defense is the common denominator. Among them, Tony Romo, Donovan McNabb, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers averaged 298 yards passing against the Bucs. I'm guessing Brees will inch that average above 300.
GS: What I'm guessing is that Brees has smiled a lot in practices recently. He must look at game films and think he's watching cartoons. So tell me, John, is this going to be as bad as everyone thinks it's going to be?
JR: Not necessarily. It could be worse. Other than the Green Bay win, the Bucs haven't been very competitive against teams with winning records. They lost by 19 to Philadelphia, by 24 to New York and by 28 to New England. With a far better offense, the Saints could have you scurrying for the record books. You do still scurry, right?
GS: No. I'm so important, I have others to scurry for me. So tell me, since you're spewing out numbers like an accountant with Tourette's syndrome, how many touchdowns does Brees throw today? And how many times does the Bucs defensive line touch him?
JR: Three touchdowns, and the D-line touches him five times. But two of them will be inappropriately.
GS: Five times? Are you counting the security guards as Brees enters the stadium? Or are the Saints going to use Green Bay's offensive line today to make teams more even?
JR: At this point, weapons wouldn't make them more even.
GS: How about time travel? We could go back to when Aaron Brooks played for the Saints and a real defense played for the Bucs.
JR: How sad is this? The Bucs were the first team in the NFL to be eliminated from a division race this season. Nothing like being able to plan for the holidays even before Thanksgiving.
GS: And nothing like being eight games behind in your division when the season is only nine games old. And to think, it was around this time last year the Bucs beat the Saints in Raymond James Stadium. You remember that game, right? The Bucs improved to 9-3 when Matt Bryant kicked a late field goal, and Gaines Adams had half a sack, and Phillip Buchanon, Cato June and Jermaine Phillips all had interceptions, and Warrick Dunn rushed 22 times, and Derrick Brooks had five tackles. Do you suppose we could get all those guys to come back to play today?
JR: Let's see. Three of them are unemployed, one is playing on a minor-league team, one has his annual broken bone, one is playing for another 1-8 team and one of them is Gaines Adams. Are you sure you want them back?
GS: I don't care if one is a Vegas show girl, another one wears a tinfoil hat to keep the martians from reading his thoughts and a third is in a Kiss tribute band. Bring 'em home.
JR: You had me until the Kiss tribute band. That's just going a little too far.
GS: I wanna rock 'n' roll all night.