See, Bucs RB Cadillac Williams is still an impact player. He knocked the ball out of QB Jeff Garcia's hand on the Lions' fumble return for a touchdown that helped give Detroit a 14-0 lead. "He hasn't played any football in a year," Fox analyst Tony Boselli said. "That's rust right there." Then again, how nice was it to see him carrying the load in the fourth quarter and being healthy enough to walk off the field when it was all over?
No duh comment of the day
Fox analyst Tony Boselli showed his chops right at the start of the broadcast with a line that ranks up there with "Do you believe in miracles?" and "Down goes Frazier!" Boselli said, "The Bucs struggled in the playoffs last year because they didn't play good." Gee, you think?
Most interesting point
Fox announcer Ron Pitts questioned whether RB Earnest Graham is injured even more than the Bucs are saying. Graham supposedly has a high ankle sprain, but Pitts wondered if there might be a break — considering how quickly the Bucs put him on injured reserve, thus ending his season. "Yeah," Fox analyst Tony Boselli said, "even if he is out six weeks, he could've been back for the playoffs."
Fox's Charissa Thompson continues to impress as a sideline reporter. She shined this season when she worked the Bucs-Chiefs game and was strong again Sunday. A sideline reporter's role, first and foremost, is to tell us what's happening on the sideline. She did that well when she told viewers about CB Ronde Barber's excitement after the Bucs scored on his interception. And she did it especially well when she described the Detroit bench imploding in the third quarter. Most of the time, sideline reporters don't add much to a broadcast. Thompson shows what they do add when the job is done well. And on Fox's broadcast team of Thompson, announcer Ron Pitts and analyst Tony Boselli, she is the strongest member.
The Bucs came back from a 17-0 deficit when TE Jerramy Stevens caught a 24-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter to put the Bucs up 21-17. Saying Stevens was wide open is like saying the Grand Canyon is a big hole. "Jerramy Stevens is 6-7," said Fox analyst Tony Boselli, above. "How do you lose that guy?"
Smart-aleck comment of the day
After watching Clifton Smith, left, work his magic on returns this season, we can only be thankful the Bucs used their second-round pick in last spring's draft on Dexter Jackson. By the way, our "Best Block" award goes to the Bucs' first-round pick, CB Aqib Talib. His late block on the punt return assured Smith would take it to the house.
Breaks of the day
Nice work by Fox whipping up the replay that showed Bucs S Sabby Piscitelli clearly interfered with Lions WR Calvin Johnson on a play that could have made a difference. The Lions were trailing 28-17 at the time (early in the third quarter) and would have had a first down in Bucs territory. But as Fox analyst Tony Boselli pointed out, "When you're 0-10, you don't get a lot of calls." Then again, the Lions got a big break a few plays later when Bucs QB Jeff Garcia was obviously down but was ruled to have fumbled and the Lions recovered.
Favorite new commercial
If Colts QB Peyton Manning is in a commercial, I like it. The latest is the MasterCard commercial in which he goes on the road and doesn't realize he is being insulted when hotel workers tell him to "Take a hike" and "Don't choke on (the fruit)" and so forth. Seriously, 10 years ago, Manning was about as stiff and square as one could be. And now? Well, now, I can't think of another athlete who makes better ads.
Good line to sum things up
Face it, this was a scary game for the Bucs, playing a team that hadn't won all season. It got even scarier when the Bucs fell behind 17-0 before you were finished with your first cold beverage. But Fox analyst Tony Boselli summed it up well by saying, "If it was a trap game, the Bucs wiggled out of the trap."