So you go out to the new car lot and poke and prod at all the best models.

You test drive a few. Look under the hood. Rev the engine. Kick the wheels.

You like what you see and Consumer’s Report gives it five stars.

You make the investment.

One year later, it’s still in mint condition. It’s still looking every bit like the prized vehicle you fell in love with. Still has some of that new car smell.

But, for some reason unbeknownst to most, you keep it in the garage.

Sure, there are the occasional spins down to the convenience store, the sprint down the interstate, the shuffle around the block.

But when you have a Cadillac, don’t you drive it? Isn’t the point behind something new to make it something used?

Now, some will say that the Bucs have been so far behind in so many of their games that there hasn’t been a chance to get Carnell Williams going. They’ll say that when trailing, a team needs to throw the ball and make up ground quickly. Fair enough. We don’t coach, we just play coaches while watching on TV.

But, as the Bucs go up to the Meadowlands this weekend, a smart choice to take the Cadillac on the road trip. I’d drive there. Fill up the tank. Put air in the tires. Change the oil if need be. But, this is a Cadillac road trip if ever there was one and here’s why.

The Bucs offense didn’t particularly light up the scoreboard against the Eagles and now they are facing an even more formidable defense.

After calling out defensive end Simeon Rice two weeks ago, don’t you think Giants end Michael Strahan is going to want to put his facemask somewhere between Bruce and Gradkowski?

Would it be fair to ask Gradkowski to win a game in the swirling winds of the Giants Stadium?

Last week, your defense gave up 500 yards and had it not scored two touchdowns and had a miracle Matt Bryant field goal from an adjacent county, things would have been different.

Sure, you have to give credit where credit is due and the turnovers the Bucs defense used helped them win the game.

But, surely you’re not ready to regain the swagger. Surely, you recognize that no one is back, until they’re completely back.

Do you think lightning strikes twice?

This is why Williams is so critical the rest of the way.

As bubbling over with potential as first-round draft pick Eli Manning is, the Giants don’t go anywhere Tiki Barber doesn’t take them. Regardless of down and distance, Barber has made a career of slashing and power running with equal determination.

It helps that the Giants have made a career of giving him the rock. They recognize that no matter what situation the game might be in, your feature back is just that, a “feature” back.

Against the Falcons two weeks ago, Barber had 26 carries for 185 yards. Giants win.

Monday night against the Cowboys, he added 27 carries for 114 yards. Giants win, again.

Get the point?

If you’re looking for a long drive, you don’t take a Corolla. And the Bucs need a couple long drives in order to keep crawling out of the sludge.

We accept that the wins over the Bengals and Eagles weren’t necessarily Broadway billboards signaling the reigning division champs have found their stride.

We accept that the defense needs the offense to move the ball and give it some time on the sidelines.

We also accept that a win is a win, whether it’s pretty or not.

But, a set back now would prove to the doubters that the back-to-back victories were an aberration.

So, you turn to the Cadillac. You turn to its big rims, its dependable engine and its comfortable carrying capacity.

How about you drive it until the wheels run out of air, or at least until he taps out from fatigue.

Then, how about you get him some high-grade fuel, and put him back on the road.

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