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Two cents

Tom Jones' Two Cents: Tampa Bay Bucs vs. New Orleans Saints

Biggest decision

The Bucs suddenly have a quarterback who can't hit water if he fell out of a boat. They couldn't run the ball Sunday. They scored zero points against what was, statistically, the worst defense in the NFL. They gave up 41 points. They had a player and coach get into a shoving match on the sideline. If the Bucs were a car, the red engine light would be on and smoke would be pouring out from under the hood.

Coach Greg Schiano can go two ways here: He can scream, kick over coolers and become meaner than a snake for the final two weeks of this now-lost season, or he can accept that the team is beat up, unmotivated and disappointed.

Schiano isn't going to change his stripes. He's a hard guy and likely will be like sandpaper for the rest of the season.

But, let's be honest here, is anyone surprised that they are 6-8 and got blown out Sunday? Part of it is injuries. Part of it is lack of talent. Part of it is that some players are underperforming. But, mostly, they are 6-8 because that's what they are: a 6-8 team.

Worst performance

QB Josh Freeman has been awful the past three weeks. He has completed only 48 percent of his passes with four TDs and five interceptions. He looks lost. He looks confused. And, often, he comes off the field looking like he just drank a gulp of sour milk.

While his receivers didn't fight for the ball on a couple of those interceptions, and more than one might have been running the wrong route, it's clear that Freeman is having major issues.

But that doesn't mean the Bucs can simply abandon their plans to stick with Freeman long term. Furthermore, the Bucs just can't go out and get anybody whose name is not "Freeman.''

"Need is a terrible evaluator,'' Fox analyst Brian Billick said Sunday, "especially at the quarterback position.''

Number of the day

149 Sure, the Bucs pass defense is beat up, but that doesn't explain the Bucs giving up 149 yards on the ground.

Three things that popped into my head

1. I'm increasingly thinking that the Bucs have a play in their playbook that specifically says, "Wide receiver goes out and quarterback throws it high in the air and hopes he catches it.'' And I also think the Bucs call that play 10 to 15 times a game.

2. You know it's a rough day when LeGarrette Blount rushes for 25 yards … and leads the team in rushing.

3. The Bucs won't admit it and maybe it shouldn't be an excuse, but you can't tell me that last week's last-play loss to the awful Eagles didn't carry over.

Final thought

As crazy as this sounds, if the Bucs can finish the season with victories against the Rams and Falcons, an 8-8 record would be a solid turnaround season. But you know what else sounds crazy? Finishing the season with victories against the Rams and Falcons.

Tom Jones' Two Cents: Tampa Bay Bucs vs. New Orleans Saints 12/16/12 [Last modified: Monday, December 17, 2012 12:16am]

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