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Super Bowl XXXVII

Keys to victory

[Times photo: Toni L. Sandys]
Defenders Greg Spires, Simeon Rice, Alshermond Singleton and Warren Sapp celebrate after recovering a fumble. The Bucs are 11-0 this season when they have a positive turnover ratio.

By RICK STROUD, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published January 26, 2003

1) WIN TURNOVER BATTLE: The Bucs are 11-0 this season when they have a positive turnover ratio. Tampa Bay thrives on forcing fumbles and led the NFL in pass defense with 31 interceptions. The Bucs' five defensive touchdowns also were the most in the league. The Raiders can control the football, and Tampa Bay's defense needs to get field position or points to win.

2) HOLD RAIDERS OFFENSE TO 20 POINTS OR FEWER: The Bucs don't want this game to become a shootout because the Raiders are more equipped to move up and down the field all night. Tampa Bay is 13-2 when holding opponents under 20 points. Conversely, the Raiders lost all four games in which they failed to score at least 20. Offensively, that would mean the Bucs need to score at least 21, and they are 10-0 when doing so this season.

3) PROTECT QUARTERBACK: The Raiders defensive line may not have marquee names like the Eagles' Hugh Douglas, but it can get after the passer. Former Bucs No.1 draft pick Regan Upshaw is a dangerous outside pass rusher and highly motivated against his former team. Bucs tackle Kenyatta Walker did a lot of crowing about how improved the offensive line is, but he has one more game to prove it. Brad Johnson has thrown 18 touchdowns and three interceptions in his past eight games. With time he will pick the Raiders apart. When the Bucs allow two sacks or fewer, they are 11-0.

4) CONTAIN RAIDERS RB CHARLIE GARNER: Garner is Marshall Faulk in silver and black. There wasn't a better all-purpose back this season. In the past five seasons, the Bucs are 1-12 when opponents have a 100-yard rusher. Stopping the run is always a priority for Tampa Bay's defense. Much of the responsibility for containing Garner will belong to linebackers Derrick Brooks and Shelton Quarles, who have the closing speed to check down Garner.

5) PUNISH THE RAIDERS RECEIVERS: Jerry Rice and Tim Brown are Hall of Fame players. But they are old. Their bones are a little more brittle than when they first came into the league. When the Dolphins beat the Raiders, cornerbacks Patrick Surtain and Sam Madison roughed up Rice and Brown. Safeties John Lynch and Dexter Jackson need to do some head hunting, along with Derrick Brooks, when the Raider receivers catch the ball in the middle of the field. The strategy worked well for Tampa Bay against the Rams in the NFC Championship Game in 1999. Breaking the timing of the receivers will allow the Bucs pass rush to get to quarterback Rich Gannon.

Back to the Super Bowl XXXVII
Today's lineup
Super Bowl XXXVII:
  • Defense matchups
  • Offense matchups

  • Gary Shelton
  • They've arrived and so have we
  • Defense snarls as its potential legend awaits

  • John Romano
  • For Raiders, there's no more holding back
  • Gimme Five
  • Hubert Mizell: Bucs coach has been intense all of his life
  • Ernest Hooper: Their faith suffuses champions breakfast
  • Keys to victory
  • Bucs: Offense: No. 1 vs. emerging force
  • So who's laughing now?
  • Sideline II: Who's going . . .
  • Raiders: Raiders D knows it can do the job
  • Times staff predictions
  • Kickin' back: A Glazer's vision: 'an elite franchise'
  • Chucky's Super Bowl XXXVII Chalk Talk
  • Return from nowhere: Bucs tracking 'anonymous' return men
  • Raiders: Raiders don't use injuries as excuse
  • Age-old question will be answered tonight
  • Notebook: Ballroom practice keeps team on toes
  • Bucs game by game 200
  • Raiders game by game 2002
  • Side line: Hallowed be thy Raider QB
  • In brief: Two-week break to return next season
  • Tampa Bay fans: Long-denied shout their pride
  • Past Super Bowls
  • Raiders notebook: Woodson says injury won't slow him down
  • Raiders: Keys to victory
  • Raiders: Weird stuff
  • Raiders: High profile: Jerry Porter
  • Radio/TV: Super Bowl TV facts
  • Radio/TV: Madden sticks by his wrong call last year
  • Guest analysis: John Madden
  • Guest analyst: Al Michaels
  • Super Bowl Need to Know
  • Previous Super Bowl national anthem singers
  • On the Net: NFL adds incentives for fans to go online
  • Letters: Super Bowl QB is with Bucs ... now
  • Back to Top
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