Tom Jones, The St.Petersburg Times, published 6 November 2006|
Mike Alstott. He still plays, right? The only time we noticed him was when he was picking grass out of Michael Clayton's face mask. We missed those 1-yard out passes to him on third and 9.
Derrick Brooks. Probably his best game of the season with a team-leading nine tackles and four assists.
Fox analyst Daryl Johnston does a solid job, but we didn't like how he stuck up for Bucs coach Jon Gruden regarding last week's pass-happy game plan in windy New York. "He truly believes the object is to win the game. He's not worried about style points." We got news for you. Last week, the Bucs lost and looked ugly doing it.
One more thing
Fox analyst Daryl Johnston said the Saints aren't getting notoriety on defense. Sorry, but this is a pet peeve of ours. Here goes: Jeffrey Dahmer was notorious. The Saints defense wants to be notable. Notorious is not a good thing. (Now, we would've accepted him calling the Bucs notorious.) Okay, end of the English lesson.
Stat of the day
First quarter total yards: Saints 168, Bucs 6.
Meaningless stat of the day
Saints rookie Reggie Bush rushed 11 times for minus-5 yards, caught three passes for 19 yards and returned two punts for 20 yards. And the Saints still won easily.
Player of the game
Saints rookie wide receiver Marques Colston caught 11 passes for 123 yards. As Fox analyst Daryl Johnston pointed out: Can you believe this guy was fourth-to-last pick in the draft? That's right, 251 players were taken ahead of him.
Fox announcers Dick Stockton and Daryl Johnston correctly pointed out how the Bucs continually stumble out of the gate. Johnston: "They've had a slow start to the season. They've had slow starts from week to week. For some reason this team just needs a while before they wake up." Then the zinger from Stockton: "Sometimes it gets to be too late early."
Do the Bucs have any plays in their book that has a receiver running 15 yards downfield over the middle? Seems like everything is either a dumpoff or a bomb.
Class move of the day
Saints coach Sean Payton having Drew Brees take a knee with still more than two minutes left. It wouldn't have been that big of a deal if the Saints had just run the ball and, potentially, made the final score 38-14. Then the Bucs did the right thing by running the ball twice when they got it back.
Duck, duck, goose
We want to like Fox sideline reporter Tony Siragusa because he seems like a funny guy, a nice guy. But isn't 99 percent of what he says completely obvious to even the casual football fan? Come on, Goose, you've forgotten more football than we know. Give us a little more, like when you showed how Simeon Rice should be rushing the passer against a lineman with a broken finger. That is the good stuff. Let's see more of that.
What the heck happened on Devery Henderson's 52-yard TD catch to make it 14-0? We'd point the finger at someone, but because there was no one even close to Henderson, we don't know where to begin.
The fresh prince
Will Smith had a great day for the Saints. His best work since Men in Black, wouldn't you say?
This is the second time this season we've seen this: touchback, ball on the 20, three plays later there's a measurement. Why? You put the ball on the 20. First down is the 30. If the ball is not on the 30, it's not a first down. Doesn't that make sense?
Can you believe this?
If someone told you before the season that the Bucs and the defending champion Steelers would have the same record right now, wouldn't you have been happy?
Worst use of hands
Bucs defensive back Torrie Cox might still be running if he hadn't dropped a sure interception in the second quarter.
Throw of the day
Bruce Gradkowski's laser to Joey Galloway on the second Bucs touchdown. That was throwing-a-football-through-a-tire stuff. From 20-some-yards away.