Some teams script the first 20 plays or so. We're guessing coach Jon Gruden didn't script the Bucs' first three: a 15-yard personal foul penalty, a timeout because the play clock was about to run out and an interception. And not to sound like a homer, but how in the heck does Bucs tackle Donald Penn get flagged for a personal foul when there were about a dozen guys all doing the same thing? Biggest break
Okay, speaking of personal fouls, let's face it. The one against the Bears that kept the Bucs' winning drive alive was a major break. If I'm Jon Gruden, I'm not giving the officials a hard time for about a month because of the gift his team was handed. Most forgotten player
With about five minutes left in the first quarter, Bucs tight end Jerramy Stevens caught a 31-yard pass. Fox analyst Tim Ryan said, "It's a matchup problem, and it will be all day for Chicago.'' Stevens did not catch another until 3:47 left in regulation. Then he was a major factor the rest of the way. But what happened in between? Best recovery
Ronde Barber might have the greatest interception in Bucs history, thinking back to that touchdown against the Eagles in the NFC title game that sent the Bucs to the Super Bowl. Gaines Adams might have had the most significant interception Sunday. But Barrett Ruud's pluck-it-off-the-top-of-the-grass-blades-in-the-end-zone interception in the second quarter might have been the finest ever by a Bucs player. And his spin-o-rama hit on Bears QB Kyle Orton at the two-minute warning is one that will show up on highlight reels for years. Best challenge
Nice job, Jon Gruden, challenging the ruling that Gaines Adams stepped out at the 1-yard line on his interception. It was worth the risk anyway. For starters, are we absolutely sure the Bucs offense, struggling mightily at that point, would've punched it in? And second, what a morale boost for Adams and the defense to get rewarded with six points. By the way, Kyle Orton's pass just might have been the worst in the history of the forward pass. Worst feet
Was Bucs returner Dexter Jackson wearing bowling shoes? Then when he does keep his feet on his final punt return of the day, he races backward, trying to outrun the Bears' coverage team. Maybe that move works against the Citadel or whoever Appalachian State plays. But the NFL? Not so much. Thanks but no thanks
Fox announcer Sam Rosen congratulated the "Tampa Rays'' for making the playoffs. Did Fox never get the memo that it's the Tampa BAY Rays? Yeesh!
The Bucs normally aren't going to see Fox's No. 1 broadcasting team this season. But you could do a lot worse than Sunday's team of Sam Rosen and Tim Ryan, especially Rosen, one of the better play-by-play guys in sports. Ryan is a meat-and-potatoes analyst, sticking mostly to the technical aspects of the game. He's not especially funny but is smart enough to know that and doesn't try to be irreverent. Both announcers were solid Sunday, except for one strange comment by Ryan, who talked about Brian Griese's three interceptions. "One was not his fault,'' Ryan said. Uh, which one? Nice to see you
We're always so quick to jump on Bucs receiver Michael Clayton, but give him his due. Five catches for 54 yards. Nice game. As good as Clayton was, however, that's how disappointing Maurice Stovall was. "Bucs fans who wonder why Maurice Stovall can't crack (the lineup), this is the reason why,'' Fox analyst Tim Ryan said after Stovall dropped several balls and coughed up a fumble. Good call
As much as Bucs fans might want to argue, the intentional grounding penalty on Brian Griese in overtime appeared to be a good call.
Did anyone think Brian Griese would end up throwing the ball almost as many times as Scott Kazmir this weekend?
No running game to speak of (47 yards). No Joey Galloway. The quarterback throws three interceptions. How did the Bucs win this game?