It started with such great promise, didn't it?
Tony Romo did his best to jump-start the Bucs on Sunday. He threw that pick to Aqib Talib on the first Dallas series, and Tampa Bay was in business at the Dallas 29-yard line. Yeah!
Doug Martin ran for two to the 27-yard line. Then the man-who-could-have-been-a-Buc, Morris Claiborne, helped out the team that passed on him by getting hit for an interference call.
Bucs ball at the 12-yard line. Yeah!
Martin runs for seven to the Dallas 5-yard line. Cowboys offsides. Yeah!
Martin goes for four to the Dallas 3-yard line, then Martin goes for zero.
Bucs go for it on 4th-and-1 from the Dallas 3-yard line. Martin gets two. Yeah!
Josh Freeman then airs it out for a one-yard touchdown pass to Luke Stocker. Bucs take an early 7-0 lead.
Well folks, that should just about cover the Buccaneer highlights.
After that, well, Freeman brought back some fond memories for me.
How about Mike Rae, Chris Chandler, Jerry Golsteyn, Jeb Blount, Jack "The Throwin' Samoan" Thompson and, best of all, Randy "Why Not Minot?" Hedberg?
Hopefully most of you aren't old enough to remember those guys, but they are remnants from the Buccaneer quarterback Hall of Shame.
Freeman did his best to turn into a combination of those Buccaneer Bums for the rest of the Dallas game. He wasn't as bad as Hedberg, as the Bucs averaged 1.5 points per game in 1977 with him as the starter. Randy threw for an average of 2.7 yards per attempt. He had a single-digit quarterback rating.
Fast-forward to our guy Free.
How comforting was it to watch Freeman complete a half-dozen passes going into the two-minute warning?
Watching Freeman all afternoon was akin to stepping in a big pile of fresh dog poop. Yeah, that's a lot of fun.
The comical part of this was that for the second straight week, the Bucs were part of a national telecast that had the Fox "A-team" doing the show, Joe Buck and Troy Aikman. It's great to have Aikman. He was on a Cowboys team that won one game, but then it got better and better and better, and Aikman passed his way into the Hall of Fame.
You had to love it when Buck declared the first 30 minutes "a rather lackluster first half."
You want lackluster? Freeman and his offense were the Lords of Lackluster for 58 minutes. Only desperation made them open it up at the end.
It's obvious from watching this game that Freeman has a truckload of problems, but Aikman pointed out what may be one of the biggest:
"Freeman stares at whatever side of the field he's throwing to. Dallas simply rolls their defense to that side and hopes he doesn't throw to the other side."
Note to Freeman: Start throwing to the side you're not staring at.
The sad part of this mess is that Dallas did everything in its power to help the Bucs win this game.
The 'Boys turned the ball over three times, including that opening pick by Romo. Give Greg Schiano credit for getting the other two fumbles with challenges, otherwise the dorks known as replacement refs missed those calls.
The Cowboys racked up 13, count 'em, 13 penalties that gave the Bucs 105 yards, and goodness knows how difficult it was for the Bucs to get 100 yards on their own.
Martin carried the ball 19 times for 53 yards, and considering he had one 17-yard run, that makes 18 other carries for a whopping 36 yards. Yuck.
Stop the presses: LeGarrette Blount was granted FOUR carries. The big guy picked up 19 yards and had that early nice one for 11. But what the heck, get him out of there before he can do any real damage to the Dallas defense. Blount was sent to the bench and didn't get another carry.
Bow down to the Buccaneer defense.
Who'da thunk it?
The defense is the strength of this football team. And it was supposed to be the offense. That's where the Glazers spent their money in the offseason.
Yep, the Bucs have an offensive line that makes enough dough to pay about a million people $100,000 a year. They have a receiver with a $55 million contract. Freeman spent 58 minutes unable to get him the football.
There are other receivers, allegedly, but they only caught three passes all day.
Need we go on?
We're not in the business of handing out "grades" in all this stuff. This isn't a "grade" league; you either pass or you fail each week.
The Buccaneers have passed once and failed twice. And Sunday in Dallas was one massive offensive failure, wasn't it?
Holy Randy Hedberg!
OneBucSite.com: Adrian Clayborn lost for the season.